Swiss mining giant Glencore Plc is working with a Canadian pension fund to create a standalone 50:50 joint venture for its portfolio of royalty assets, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
Royalty deals give the owner the right to receive a percentage of revenue or profits from a mining operation, often in exchange for financing.
Reuters reported in May that Glencore had hired the Bank of Nova Scotia to sell its royalty assets, including one for the Antamina copper-zinc mine in Peru, which was expected to fetch up to US$250 million.
The sources said on Friday it was now in talks to create a 50:50 venture for the assets with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
A separate vehicle would help Glencore to secure supplies of copper, zinc and nickel for its trading unit. Both firms would also expand the portfolio by purchasing royalties from other miners’ operations, said the sources, who declined to be named as the talks are confidential.
Glencore declined to comment and Ontario Teachers’ was not immediately available for comment.
Ontario Teachers’, Canada’s third biggest pension fund with net assets of more than $175 billion, has some natural resources investments and also royalty interests in oil and gas, according to its website.
Glencore is looking to maximize the value of its assets as it moves from cost-cutting to pursuing growth.
Last month, it embarked in a bidding war with China’s Yancoal for the Australian thermal coal assets being sold by Rio Tinto Group, while in May the miner approached U.S. grain trader Bunge Ltd over a potential business combination.
Glencore, which owns a 33.75 percent stake in Antamina, has already monetized a portion of the mine’s output.
Glencore’s partners in Antamina are Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton Plc with a 33.75 percent stake, Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd, with 22.5 percent and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp with 10 percent.
(Reporting by Clara Denina in London and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver. Additional reporting by Pratima Desai; Editing by Mark Potter)
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