Asset sales are part of Glencore’s plan to cut $30bn (£20bn) of net debt by a third after a slump in the price of commodities it trades and mines. It has suspended its dividend, raised $2.5bn by selling shares and halted operations at two African mines.
Its share price has more than halved this year as a result of the collapse in commodity prices as demand from China falls.
The company said it decided to sell the Cobar and Lomas Bayas mines after a number of potential bidders made enquiries. Glencore shares were suspended in Hong Kong before the announcement was made.
Glencore said: “This will allow potential buyers to bid to purchase either one or both of the mines and may or may not result in a sale. Glencore will issue an update only in the event a sale is agreed or disclosure is otherwise required.”
Cobar, in New South Wales, is an underground mine producing about 1.1m tonnes of copper a year. The open pit Lomas Bayas mine is 80 miles from the Chilean port of Antofagasta and produces low-grade copper ore that is converted to copper cathode.
The company, led by chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, is also looking to sell a minority stake in its agricultural business. Last month it sold a Brazilian nickel project.
Last week, Glencore prompted the biggest rise in zinc prices for a decade when it announced it would cut its production of the metal by a third.
This article was written by Sean Farrell, for theguardian.com on Monday 12th October 2015 07.58 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010