Korea Resources Corp, the state-owned minerals explorer, and LG International Corp jointly took over a Philippine copper project, the first time Korean companies have gained control over a copper mine abroad.
The combined stake in the Rapu Rapu copper-zinc mine rose to 70% from 26%, allowing management powers, the Korean companies said in separate statements today.
LG has the right to sell all output, they said.
South Korea, which imports 97% of its energy and mineral needs, is increasing investments in overseas resources to secure supplies.
Development of the Rapu Rapu project would be a boost for the Philippines ` drive to develop its mining industry.
The announcement came after Lafayette Mining Ltd, based in , appointed administrators in December to arrange a sale or restructure of the mine after it failed to pay off debt.
LG International climbed 600 won, or 2.9%, to 21,300 won at 2:06 pm in Seoul trading, outperforming a 1.1% gain in the benchmark stock index Kospi.
LG International now holds 42% of the project and Korea Resources 28%, the statements said. Malaysia Smelting Corp, which supplies about 18% of the world’s tin, owns the remaining 30%, they said.
The Korean group will spend US$43.4 million including the cost of the stake purchase to speed up development and operation of the project, according to the statements.
The mine, 375km southeast of Manila , started output in February last year with an annual capacity of 11,000t of copper and 13,000t of zinc, they said.