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Sterlite Wins Bankrupted Asarco


India’s Sterlite Industries looks to have won the assets of bankrupt copper miner Asarco.

Sterlite, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources, has said it would buy the operating assets of Asarco in an all-cash US$2.6bn deal, Reuters reports.

Mexico’s top copper miner Grupo Mexico, which owns Asarco but does not have board control of it because of the bankruptcy, said it would do absolutely everything in its power to block the sale.

Asarco, which owns three copper mines in Arizona, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 after it was sued for US$1bn over environmental clean-up and asbestos claims.

It is selling off its assets to emerge from bankruptcy, against the wishes of its parent.

Anil Agarwal, chairman of both Vedanta and Sterlite, said Asarco’s environmental liabilities had been taken into account.

“All the money we pay will go to the creditors and to settle environmental claims,” he told Indian media on Monday.

The acquisition would give Sterlite, India’s top non-ferrous metal producer, total copper smelting capacity of 635,000 tonnes per annum and proven copper reserves of five million tonnes


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