Mitsui Mining to exit from copper mining, selling stake in Collahuasi mine

TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Mitsui Mining and Smelting said on Wednesday it would exit from copper mining by selling its 0.97% stake in the Collahuasi copper mine in Chile to Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co as a part of a reshuffle of its asset portfolio.

The mining and smelting company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal which is due to be completed by the end of March, but said the sale would result in a one-off gain of 9.5 billion yen ($87.5 million) for the year ending this month.

Mitsui Mining and Mitsui & Co said last year they had agreed to sell their stakes in the Caserones copper mine in Chile to Japan’s JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp, the metals unit of Eneos Holdings Inc.

“We have decided to use our resources for other growing areas such as engineered materials and development of new products,” a spokesman for Mitsui Mining said, adding it would keep its stake in zinc mines in Peru.

Helped by the one-off gain from the deal and higher-than-anticipated prices of metals such as zinc and copper, Mitsui Mining raised its net profit forecast for the year to March 31 to 40 billion yen from 23 billion yen predicted in early February.

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As a result, it also lifted an annual dividend estimate to 80 yen a share from 70 yen.

$1 = 108.6300 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashi. Editing by Mark Potter

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