TOKYO – Mitsubishi Corporation plans to invest as much as 70 billion yen ($888.4 million) to acquire an 18.1 percent stake in a copper mine in southern Peru, Japanese financial daily Nikkei reported Friday.
Production at the mine – part of the Quellaveco project and majority owned by London-based Anglo American, which holds the remaining 81.9 percent stake – is scheduled to begin in 2016.
The mine holds an estimated 10 million tons of copper reserves and is expected to produce 225,000 tons of the red metal annually.
Mitsubishi’s proportional share of that output, to be sold in Japan and the rest of Asia, according to Nikkei, would be around 40,000 tons a year.
The Japanese corporation already operates copper mines in Chile and Peru and produces nearly 140,000 tons of the mineral annually, making it the Asian country’s No. 1 company in that sector.
In November, Anglo American sold Mitsubishi a 24.5 percent stake in its Chilean unit, Anglo American Sur, for 420 billion yen ($5.33 billion).
Japanese corporations have been acquiring stakes in foreign copper projects in a bid to ensure a stable supply of the metal for the Asian nation, as well as sufficient supplies for export to emerging markets.
Mitsui recently acquired mining rights in Chile, while Marubeni Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation will begin developing copper mines in that country in 2014.
Mitsubishi also announced in November that it plans to invest some 10 billion yen ($126.9 million) to acquire and develop a phosphate rock mine in northern Peru. EFE