Mobius pick Antofagasta denied Pakistan mining lease

A joint venture of Antofagasta has been refused a licence for a new mining development in Pakistan.

Mark Mobius
Mark Mobius

Antofagasta, a top-10 holding in Mark Mobius’ Templeton Latin America fund, issued a statement saying its Tethyan Copper Company joint venture saw a mining lease application rejected by the government of Balochistan.

The application was submitted in February 2011 to seek permission to mine in an area that includes the Reko Diq copper-gold deposit.

Antofagasta says: “Tethyan strongly believes that the Reko Diq project can contribute significantly to the development of a modern mining industry in Balochistan and will consider its options for further courses of action.”

The firm has also filed a notice of dispute on the ruling to create time to resolve the problem with the government of Balochistan.

Antofagasta accounts for 3.6% of Mobius’ £1.8 billion Templeton Latin America fund. It is also owned by Dean Newman’s Invesco Perpetual Latin American fund, where it accounts for 2.2% of the £342.5m portfolio.

Despite the news, the firm was trading 0.52% up on the London Stock Exchange at 1021 GMT.

At the start of the month, Antofagasta said copper and gold production rose over the third quarter, while its molybdenum output fell. The firm is on track to meet its whole-year output goals.

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