HONG KONG, Aug 23 (Reuters) - China's top copper producer Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd is interested in buying Glencore Xstrata Plc's $5 billion-plus Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.
Jiangxi may eventually team up with either Chinalco Mining Corp International or MMG Ltd, which are also evaluating bids for the mine, one of the sources said.
All the sources declined to be identified due to the confidential nature of the discussions.
Glencore has invited first round bids for the Las Bambas mine by mid-September, and hopes to complete the process by the end of this year. Glencore agreed to sell the mine in return for Beijing's blessing for Glencore's $35 billion purchase of Xstrata.
Under a deal struck with Beijing's Ministry of Commerce in April, Glencore has until end-August 2014 to find a buyer but Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said this week he hoped to reach a sale agreement by the end of this year.
Chinalco Mining Corp is working with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for its planned bid, while MMG has engaged Citigroup and Bank of America Corp, the sources said.
Glencore did not reply to an email seeking comment for this story. MMG and Jiangxi declined to comment.
Citigroup and Bank of America declined to comment, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley did not offer an immediate response.