Exclusive - Anglo, Codelco to extend talks in copper row - source
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American (AAL.L) and Chilean state copper giant Codelco CODEL.UL will seek to extend their self-imposed deadline for talks in a bid to resolve their spat over disputed copper assets, a source linked to Codelco's legal team told Reuters early on Thursday.
The miners, currently on a 30-day break from their legal wrangling, can ask for up to 60 more days to try to reach an agreement, according to Chilean law. Anglo supports the suspension of legal proceedings, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Investors are watching closely to see if world No. 1 copper producer Codelco and Anglo will reach a deal or whether they will plunge back into a multibillion-dollar courtroom showdown that could drag on for years.
Anglo and Codelco could not immediately be reached for comment.
The contract conflict between Codelco and Anglo centers on an option agreement dating to 1978.
Codelco said in October it would exercise the option to buy a 49 percent stake in Anglo American Sur (AAS) when the option window opened in January.
But weeks later, Anglo stunned markets with the pre-emptive sale of a 24.5 percent stake in AAS to Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T), with a $5.4 billion deal that dented Codelco's ambitions but which it says secured better value for investors.
Since then, the firms have been tussling for the properties, which include the promising Los Bronces mine that used to be called La Disputada, "the disputed one," in Spanish.
(Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Bill Trott)
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