Lundin Weighs Sale of Zinc Mines in Sweden and Portugal

Lundin Mining Corp. is considering a potential sale of two European zinc mines as the Canadian metals producer turns its focus to copper in Latin America, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg
First Published27 Jun 2024, 11:11 PM IST
Lundin Weighs Sale of Zinc Mines in Sweden and Portugal
Lundin Weighs Sale of Zinc Mines in Sweden and Portugal

(Bloomberg) -- Lundin Mining Corp. is considering a potential sale of two European zinc mines as the Canadian metals producer turns its focus to copper in Latin America, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vancouver-based Lundin is gauging interest in its Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden and Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Any divestment would help raise funds for further investments in a suite of copper assets in Chile and Argentina.

Deliberations are at an early stage and there’s no certainty Lundin will proceed with a sale, the people said.

The European mines, which are Lundin’s oldest assets, generated about 19% of its revenue last year. Zinkgruvan, an underground mine southwest of Stockholm that has operated continuously since 1857, churned out 76,349 tons of zinc last year, according to the company. Neves-Corvo produced 108,812 tons of zinc as well as 33,823 tons of copper. 

The firm is meanwhile pressing ahead on projects in South America. Its Josemaria project in Argentina, a vast copper and gold deposit in the Andes, will cost about $5 billion to build into a mine, according to Royal Bank of Canada. On Tuesday, it increased its stake in one of its Chilean copper mines, Caserones, from 51% to 70% in a $350 million deal.  

The company has undergone a series of changes since the death of Swedish-Canadian founder Lukas Henrik Lundin in 2022. The firm relocated its headquarters from Toronto to Vancouver last year, prompting a wave of leadership changes, and Lundin’s son Jack Lundin took over as chief executive officer in December. 

The company owns three already-operating copper mines in South America — two in Chile and one in Brazil. 

“We have a strong balance sheet today, and we are not in a position where we need to divest out of any of our assets in our portfolio,” said Jack Lundin, who declined to comment directly on potential European asset sales in a Tuesday interview. 

“We’re not required to make a sale to make our ambitions in South America a reality.”

The world’s biggest mining companies are all seeking to expand in copper, in anticipation of rising prices as demand for clean power and data centers is forecast to outstrip supply in future years. 

Zinc prices have similarly rallied this year on the back of constraints on mine supply, though the long-term outlook is clouded by the metal’s heavy exposure to the downtrodden construction sector. 

Lundin has received unsolicited offers for Neves-Corvo before, including one that valued the operation at around $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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First Published:27 Jun 2024, 11:11 PM IST
HomeNewsLundin Weighs Sale of Zinc Mines in Sweden and Portugal

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