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HudBay buys out minority owner in Rosemont joint venture

Louisville, Kentucky — Canada's HudBay Minerals has agreed to buy out the minority partner in its proposed Rosemont copper project in Arizona, just days after the Toronto-based company was issued a final permit for the nearly $2 billion project.

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HudBay said Wednesday it had agreed to purchase United Copper & Moly LLC's 7.95% interest in Rosemont for an upfront cash payment of $45 million, plus three annual installments of $10 million, starting July 1, 2022.

UCM is owned by Korea Resources and LG International Group. The transaction is expected to close by April 25.

Alan Hair, HudBay CEO, said the deal simplifies Rosemont's ownership structure and improves his company's financial flexibility.

Now, he said, HudBay will launch "a process to seek a development joint partner for Rosemont."

He added: "The company expects to carry out this process in parallel with advancing the initial development of Rosemont, with the objective to ultimately hold an approximately 70% interest in the project and maintain operatorship."

Rosemont, an open-pit mine, is considered one of the world's best undeveloped copper projects. It would produce about 127,000 mt of copper annually for the first 10 years of its projected 19-year life, making it the third-largest copper producer in the US.

Rosemont would be located about 30 miles from Tucson.

-- Bob Matyi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Nick Jonson, newsdesk@spglobal.com