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Xstrata looks to sell its Chilean mine

MINER Xstrata, the group tied up in a merger battle with rival Anglo American, is in talks to sell off its key stake in a South American mine for an estimated $700m (&pound;420m).<br /><br />&ldquo;Xstrata Copper has received expressions of interest that may result in the introduction of an additional partner into the El Morro copper-gold project in Chile, or the eventual sale of Xstrata&rsquo;s 70 per cent interest,&rdquo; a company spokesperson said. &ldquo;We are evaluating the approaches we have received and no decisions have been made on whether or not to divest El Morro or dilute our stake,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />The spokesman also said there was no time frame for the transaction.<br /><br />Xstrata, which proposed a merger of equals deal with Anglo in June, inherited El Morro when it took over peer Falconbridge in 2006.<br /><br />It is understood that the buyer would have to put around $1bn into the project to fully develop the mine. It would also have to work alongside New Gold, which owns 30 per cent.