Acquisition of Interests in Los Pelambres Copper Mine and Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd.

Dec. 20, 2023
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) has reached an agreement with JX Metals Corporation (hereinafter, “JX Metals”) to acquire an additional 3.27% stake in Minera Los Pelambres Copper Mine (hereinafter, “Los Pelambres”) in the Republic of Chile and a 20.0% stake in Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “PPC”), owned by JX Metals. These transactions are hereinafter referred to as the “Transactions.”

Los Pelambres Los Pelambres

Copper cathodes produced by PPC Copper cathodes produced by PPC

Los Pelambres, jointly operated by Marubeni’s local partner Antofagasta plc (hereinafter, “Antofagasta”) and a Japanese consortium, including Marubeni, is one of the world’s largest copper mines with an annual copper production of approximately 400,000 tons and top-tier cost competitiveness globally. It is also renowned for obtaining the Copper Mark* by promoting responsible copper production, utilizing desalinated seawater for its operations, and achieving 100% renewable energy usage. Marubeni presently possesses a 9.21% stake in the mine, and this ownership will be increased to 12.48% following the Transactions.

PPC is a company that supplies non-ferrous metals, mainly copper, by procuring raw materials, refining and processing on consignment, and selling products, as a joint venture between JX Metals and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd (hereinafter, “MMS”). With an annual copper sales volume of around 650,000 tons, it boasts the largest supply in Japan. PPC has a broad customer base in the Asian region, establishing a solid presence in the market with its high-quality copper cathodes. Marubeni has invested in copper mines in Chile that produce copper concentrates and copper cathodes, and also trades copper cathodes, mainly for customers in Asia, including India and Southeast Asia. Through the Transactions, Marubeni and PPC will combine their networks to further strengthen raw material procurement and sales in Asia to provide higher added value throughout the copper supply chain.

JX Metals has been globally developing integrated businesses related to non-ferrous metals, from resource development and smelting to the manufacturing of advanced materials, extending to the recycling of end-of-life electronic devices. Marubeni and JX Metals have built a longstanding partnership in the metals and resources business through joint investment in Los Pelambres and collaboration in the trading of copper cathodes.

MMS is also a long-standing Marubeni business partner, collaborating in the export of zinc ingot and copper cathode and the procurement of aluminum ingot. Amid the global expansion of electrification, infrastructure development in emerging nations, and rising prominence of electric vehicles (EVs) as well as renewable energy linked to the green transition, an additional surge in copper demand is expected. 

Marubeni, in its Mid-Term Management Strategy “GC2024,” positions green strategy as a fundamental approach to enhancing corporate value. As the copper business is classified as a green business, Marubeni has been strengthening and promoting both resource investment and trading accordingly. Through the Transactions, Marubeni aims to fortify its partnership with JX Metals and MMS, stably supply sustainable copper, and expand its copper business.

* Established by the International Copper Association (ICA), the Copper Mark is a certification system that promotes “responsible production” in the copper industry and contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is worth noting that the Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery and Hitachi Works, operated by JX Metals Smelting Co., Ltd., became the first facilities in Japan to obtain the Copper Mark certification in December 2022. Marubeni completed registration as a partner supporting Copper Mark’s activities, purpose, and vision in January 2023.

JX Metals Overview
Company Name: JX Metals Corporation
Location: The Okura Prestige Tower 10-4, Toranomon 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-8417, Japan
Establishment: 2002
Ownership: ENEOS Holdings, Inc.
Main Business: Natural resources development, smelting and refining, manufacturing and sales of electronic materials, and recycling
Website: https://www.jx-nmm.com/english/
Los Pelambres Overview
Company Name: Minera Los Pelambres Limitada
Location: Coquimbo Region, Chile
Reserves: 906 million ton (as of Dec. 2022)
Production: Approximately 400,000 ton of copper (annual)
Production Period: 1999 to 2036
Ownership: Company Pre-Acquisition Post-Acquisition
Antofagasta  60.00% 60.00%
JX Metals 15.79% 12.52%
Marubeni 9.21% 12.48%
Mitsubishi Materials 10.00% 10.00%
Mitsubishi Corporation    5.00% 5.00%
Main Business: Production and sales of copper concentrate
Website: https://web.pelambres.cl/
PPC Overview
Company Name: Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd.
Location: The Okura Prestige Tower 10-4, Toranomon 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8417, Japan
Establishment: 2000
Ownership: Company Pre-Acquisition Post-Acquisition
JX Metals 67.8% 47.8%
MMS 32.2% 32.2%
Marubeni 0.0% 20.0%
Main Business: Copper raw material procurement, refining and processing on consignment, and product sales
Website: https://www.ppcu.co.jp/eng/index.html

Related press release:
Feb 9, 2023
Marubeni Becomes a Partner of the Copper Mark, a Framework to Promote the Responsible Production of Copper

Dec. 16, 2022
Minera Los Pelambres Awarded the Copper Mark