BHP buys into 'high quality' Ecuador copper project

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BHP Billiton has bought into the Cascabel copper-gold project (Source: Getty)

Global miner BHP Billiton has bought a 6 per cent stake in SolGold giving it exposure to the Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.

The world's largest miner will buy the stake of 103.1 million shares in SolGold – Cascabel's majority owner and operator, from Guyana Goldfields for $35.2m (£27.5m), the company said today.

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SolGold rejected BHP's offer for a 10 per cent stake in the firm in October 2016, describing it as “very inadequate”.

BHP Chief executive, Andrew Mackenzie, said the deal would give the company exposure to the “high quality” copper exploration project.

He said: “Consistent with our positive long-term outlook, copper is a key exploration focus for BHP as we seek to replenish our resource base and grow this important business.”

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Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining is the top shareholder in SolGold with a 14.5 per cent stake.

Shares in BHP Billiton fell 1.3 per cent in early trading.