Aditya Birla Minerals to sell Mt Gordon Copper mine in Australia

2 July 2013 (Last Updated July 2nd, 2013 18:30)

Aditya Birla Minerals, a unit of the India-based Aditya Birla Group, is planning to sell its Mt Gordon Copper mine in Queensland, Australia.

Aditya Birla Minerals

Aditya Birla Minerals, a unit of the India-based Aditya Birla Group, is planning to sell its Mt Gordon Copper mine in Queensland, Australia.

Aditya Birla expects the sale of the mine to fetch around AUD250m ($228m), reports The Wall Street Journal.

In February 2013, the company hired ANZ Bank to carry out a strategic review of the mine, which included the option to sell.

First-round bids for the copper project are expected later in July.

In April, following the decline in prices, operations at the Mt Gordon Copper project were halted.

The mine, with a total life expectancy of 16 years, is set to generate 4 million tonnes per annum for nine years at an average copper grade of 1.4%.

Mt Gordon mine is located in the same copper-rich belt as Ernest Henry mines, CST Mining Group's Lady Annie mine and Glencore Xstrata's Mount Isa project.

The proposed sale of Mt Gordon mine adds to the increasing list of assets that are being put up for sale by several Australian companies due to tough market conditions.

Over the last few years, the market has turned from being in deficit to one in surplus and, as a result, the prices of copper dropped to their lowest levels in three years last month.

Rio Tinto recently announced its plans to sell its Northparkes copper-and-gold mine in New South Wales state and its 57%stake in copper and gold producer Ivanhoe Australia.

Australia-based Discovery Metals also put itself up for sale.


Image: The prices of copper dropped to their lowest levels in three years in June. Photo: Jonathan Zander.

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