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Japanese trading firm Mitsui has signed agreements to optimise its portfolio of mining assets in Chile.

The company has clinched a deal to purchase JX Nippon Mining & Metals’ 3.60% equity share in the Collahuasi copper mine in Chile.

Since 1996, Mitsui and other partners in a Japanese consortium have owned concessions in the mine for more than 20 years.

Located 200km south-east of Iquique in northern Chile, the mine offers the potential for improved value through production expansions in future.

As of the end of 2016, the mine had reserves of 28 million tonnes and resources of 78 million tonnes.

Upon completion of the transaction, Mitsui will increase its equity share in the mine from 7.43% to 11.03%.

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By GlobalData

Anglo American and Glencore each own 44% shareholding in the asset, with the remaining 12% held by Japan Collahuasi Resources (JCR).

The transaction will enable Mitsui to enhance its shareholding in JCR from 61.9% to 91.9%.

Last year, the mine produced 524,000t of copper, while production in 2016 stood at 506,500t.

“Los Pelambres produced 344,000t last year and had reserves of eight million tonnes.”

Simultaneously, Mitsui has reached a deal to sell its entire 1.25% equity share in the Los Pelambres copper mine to JX and Marubeni in the proportion of 0.79% and 0.46% respectively.

The move to sell the stake in the Los Pelambres, which is 200km north of Santiago in Central Chile, and is part of the company’s strategic asset recycling.

Los Pelambres produced 344,000t last year and had reserves of eight million tonnes, as well as resources of 31 million tonnes as of the end of 2016.

Through the transactions, Mitsui expects to increase its equity copper production volume by around 15,000t per annum.

The company noted that it will continue to optimise its portfolio through divestitures and acquisitions.

Mitsui intends to build a robust profit base by laying emphasis on Mineral & Metal Resources and Energy segments as part of its medium-term management plan.