News Release


October 31, 2016

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation

Transfer of BioSigma Shares

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation (president: Shigeru Oi; “JX Metals”) and Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (National Copper Corporation of Chile; “Codelco”) concluded a Transfer Agreement on October 28. Under the agreement, JX Metals transfers to Codelco all JX Metals shares in BioSigma, a company originally founded as a joint venture of JX Metals and Codelco. BioSigma becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Codelco as result.

BioSigma was established in 2002 through joint investment by JX Metals and Codelco to develop biomining technology. The developed “BioSigma technology” is a hydro-metallurgical method of extracting copper from copper ores in acidic condition, accelerating the extraction by utilizing activity of microorganisms.

Codelco began application of BioSigma technology in its Radomiro Tomic mine in 2015, following successful field trials in the same mine. For now, however, the application of BioSigma technology is limited to Codelco, and there is little prospect of its use in mines of the JX Metals Group. JX Metals has therefore agreed to entrust Codelco with further development of BioSigma technology and to transfer its shares in BioSigma to Codelco.

The results of BioSigma technology development to date will remain as the joint property of JX Metals and BioSigma. JX Metals will also continue to maintain cooperative relations with Codelco in this and other areas.

JX Metals will go ahead with development of its proprietary Nikko Chloride (N-Chlo) Process for hydro-metallurgical refining of low-grade copper ores, and of the JX-iodine process for leaching copper from primary copper sulfide ores, contributing to effective use of limited copper resources and their stable and efficient supply.

(For reference) Overview of BioSigma S.p.A

Name BioSigma S.p.A.
Location Santiago, Chile
Representative Pilar Parada
Established 2002
Capital US$51,299,000 (as of October 2016)
Equity holders (Before the share transfer) JX Nippon Mining & Metals 33%, Codelco 67%
(After transfer) Codelco 100%
Employees 63 (as of October 2016)