Disputants in row over Mitsubishi mine deal to talk

JIJI

Talks are set to begin for reconciling a legal battle over the sale of a stake in a Chilean copper mining firm to Mitsubishi Corp.

British resources giant Anglo American PLC and Chilean state-run copper company Codelco said in a statement Tuesday they have reached an agreement to launch discussions to settle the squabble.

In November, Mitsubishi acquired a 24.5 percent stake in Anglo American Sur SA of Chile from Anglo American for $5.39 billion.

Codelco, which had planned to exercise its right to buy a 49 percent stake in Anglo American Sur under an existing contract, cried foul over the Anglo American-Mitsubishi deal and filed a lawsuit seeking cancellation of the deal. In response, the Anglo American side launched a countersuit against Codelco over its alleged breach of contract.

In Tuesday’s statement, Anglo American and Codelco said they have asked the Santiago court handling the dispute to suspend its judicial procedures related to the case until June 22. During the one-month period, the two sides are expected to hold intensive talks to resolve the problem.

Codelco Chief Executive Officer Diego Hernandez said the company will try to make fresh efforts to find common ground.