BHP buys into Ecuador copper-gold project
Mining giant BHP is buying a $50 million stake in copper-gold explorer SolGold, the majority owner of a project in Ecuador.
BHP has agreed to pay Canadian company Guyana Goldfields about 27.4 million pounds ($A49 million) for a 6.1 per cent interest in the London- and Toronto-listed company, which controls the "high quality" Cascabel exploration project.
BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the investment was in a "highly prospective" location, adding copper was a focus as the global miner seeks to replenish its resources base.
At 1130 AEST, shares in BHP were 55 cents, or 1.7 per cent, lower at $32.53 amid a broad decline in materials stocks following a drop in copper prices.
SolGold in 2016 rejected BHP's bid for a 10 per cent stake - including an offer for a 70 per cent interest in the subsidiary that oversees Cascabel.
The Brisbane-based company instead opted for a financing proposal from gold miner Newcrest Mining and investment fund Maxit Capital.
ASX-listed gold miner Newcrest holds a 14.5 per cent stake in SolGold.
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