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Chile court orders halt to Anglo American sale

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[November 16, 2011]  SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- A Chilean court on Tuesday ordered British-based mining company Anglo American to halt further sales of shares in a Chilean subsidiary.

The appeals court based in the capital of Santiago granted an injunction sought by Chile's state mining company, Codelco, which argues that it has first right of refusal on shares in Anglo American Sur, which has three operations in the country.

Anglo American PLC announced last week it had sold 24.5 percent of the subsidiary to Mitsubishi of Japan for $5.39 billion. Codelco has acknowledged that it cannot now overturn that sale, but its attorneys say they may ask for a review of its legality.

Codelco said in October that it planned to exercise its option to purchase 49 percent of the shares in Anglo American Sur for $6.57 billion. It said that option is open every third January under a contract signed in 1978 and modified in 2002.

Anglo American has announced it will fight the attempt to block its sale of the subsidiary. Its press office in Chile had no immediate comment on the court ruling.

Anglo American Sur operates the Los Bronces and El Soldado mines which produce about 261,000 tons of copper, as well as the Chagres smelter.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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