BHP Billiton seeks to divest Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile

Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday announced that it has started a sales process to potentially divest its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile.

"The evaluation is at an early stage, no final decisions have been made and there is no guarantee that a transaction will result," BHP said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

Cerro Colorado is located in Chile's Tarapacá Region and yielded 77,000 tonnes of copper in fiscal 2016.

Recently Spanish newspaper Minería Chilena had reported that BHP is holding talks with ''several'' potential buyers for its Cerro Colorado mine, which the mining giant put on the chopping block in February.

According to union leader Marcelo Franco, the company has officially informed workers of its plan to offload the mine, and has already received expressions of interest from several suitors.

Citing banking sources, Reuters report said that Chile's Empresas Copec SA, a conglomerate has voiced interest in diversifying into copper, and Canadian companies such as Lundin Mining Corp, as possible buyers.

The Cerro Colorado copper mine, part of BHP's Pampa Norte division, is located in Chile's Tarapacá Region and yielded 77,000 tonnes of copper in 2016.

It is estimated to run out of ore by 2023.