BHP Billiton sells US copper mine and railway for $650m

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, has sold a copper mine and railway in Arizona to Canada’s Capstone Mining Corporation for $650m (£419m).

The miner owned all of Pinto Valley, an open-pit copper mining operation located east of Phoenix, Arizona, and the associated San Manuel Arizona Railroad Company, which runs a railway from San Manuel to Hayden, Arizona.

Peter Beaven, President of BHP Billiton Copper, said the sale was “consistent with our strategy and it takes the transaction value of divestments announced over the last 12 months to $5bn”.

The Pinto Valley deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

Canadian base metal miner Capstone will assume the staff as part of the deal as well as the business’s environmental liabilities.

Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton’s former base metals head, replaces Marius Kloppers as chief executive on May 10. Mr Mackenzie, a 56-year-old Scotsman poached by Mr Kloppers from Rio Tinto in 2007, takes over as the sector switches its focus from growth to a battle to protect margins by cutting costs.

BHP Billiton has been looking closely at costs and core assets in the face of weak commodity prices and cool Chinese demand that saw pre-tax profits in the sixth months to the end of December plunge from $15.5bn to $6.5bn on revenues down 14pc to $32.2bn.

BHP Billiton

Source : Telegraph

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