Taseko in discussions with Sojitz for Gibraltar Mines share acquisition

(Reuters) - Canada-based Taseko Mines Limited said on Friday it was in confidential discussions with Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp over the potential purchase of the latter's share in Gibraltar Mines.

Taseko added that no binding agreement had been reached so far.

Sojitz said it is selling its 12.5% stake in the Canadian copper mine due to unstable operations, declining grade and increased risk of environmental liabilities, adding the deal will likely close by the end of March.

Gibraltar Mines is operated through a joint venture, with Taseko owning 75% and Cariboo Copper Corporation holding the rest. Sojitz owns 50% of Cariboo, with Furukawa Co and DOWA Holdings holding 25% each.

Furukawa and DOWA separately said they had made no decisions on the future of their stakes in the mine.

(Reporting by Arshreet Singh; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)