Commodity company Glencore is in advanced talks with Pan American Silver to acquire the latter’s 56% in the Mara copper project in Argentina, reported Bloomberg News, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The move comes as the commodity miner looks to increase exposure to copper, which is used for applications in electric vehicles (EVs).
Demand for the metal is expected to increase in coming years as the world transitions toward green energy and electrification.
Glencore is expected to sign a deal with Pan American Silver as early as this week, the sources said.
In September 2022, Glencore agreed to purchase an 18.75% stake in the Mara copper-gold project from US-based gold miner Newmont for up to $174.9m (€158.73m).
The deal increases Glencore’s stake in the Mara project to 43.75%.
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At that time, Canada’s Yamana Gold held the remaining 56.25% stake in the Mara high-quality, low-risk brownfield project.
However, earlier this year, Pan American Silver acquired all issued and outstanding shares in Yamana Gold in a cash and stock deal.
Located nearly 25km north of Andalgalá in the Catamarca province, the Mara project features proven and probable mineral reserves of 5.4 million tonnes of copper and 7.4 million ounces of gold contained in 1.105 billion tonnes of ore, on a 100% basis. The project is due to have an initial mine life of 28 years.
The project is expected to have an annual production of 556 million pounds of copper equivalent production in the first ten full years.
Argentina holds several untapped copper resources, with several mines being in the development phase.