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Copper giant Codelco buys back bonds to ease financial burden: company

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Copper giant Codelco buys back bonds to ease financial burden: company

Santiago, Chile β€” Chile's Codelco has bought back $1.526 billion worth of bonds to ease its financial commitments over the next five years as it focuses on major investments to overhaul its aging mine operations, the company said Monday.

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Aided by investment banks Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC Securities, J.P. Morgan Securities and Scotia Capital, the state-owned mining company took two weeks to acquire the bonds in New York, which are due for repayment between 2020 and 2025, using funds raised through the issue of a new 30-year bond.

"This transaction - the second largest of its type ever undertaken by Codelco - will reduce its financial burden in the coming years, facilitating the materialization of its investment portfolio," the company said.

Codelco plans to invest more than $30 billion through 2027 as it seeks to extend the life of its copper mines, some of which have been in continuous operation for more than a century.

This year should see the start of production from a new underground mine under its giant Chuquicamata pit, which will soon be too deep to mine profitably. Work on a new mine level at its El Teniente, extending the life of the operation by 60 years, is due for completion in 2025.

"Very similar to the transaction we undertook in 2017, this operation reflects responsible financial management and the confidence of investors in the corporation and its development projects," CFO Alejandro Rivera said.

-- Tom Azzopardi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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