EMR Capital Is Said to Explore Sale of Copper Mine in Australia

(Bloomberg) -- EMR Capital, the natural resources private equity firm, is exploring a sale of its Capricorn copper mine in Australia after receiving interest in the asset, people with knowledge of the matter said.

EMR Capital is working with an adviser following approaches for the asset, which is located in Queensland state’s Mount Isa region, according to the people. It will prepare documentation for a sale process that could start next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. 

The price of copper climbed above $7,000 a metric ton last month for the first time in more than three years, fueled by lackluster supply. Capricorn is set to restart production this month and is expected to produce 25,000 tons to 35,000 tons of copper concentrate annually, according to an EMR Capital spokeswoman. 

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will result in a transaction, the people said. The spokeswoman for EMR Capital declined to comment on a potential sale of the asset. EMR Capital and a partner, Lighthouse Minerals Pty, bought the shuttered mine from Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd. in 2015.

EMR Capital, led by former Rio Tinto Group executive Owen Hegarty, focuses on copper, gold, coking coal and potash and last year closed its second fund with $860 million of commitments. It has drawn interest in its Martabe gold and silver mine in Indonesia from suitors including Shandong Gold Group and China Gold International Resources Corp., people familiar with the matter said in September.

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