11/09/2011 09:37 EST | Updated 01/09/2012 05:12 EST

Anglo American sells 25 pc stake in Chilean subsidiary to Mitsubishi for $5.39 billion

SANTIAGO, Chile - The British-based mining giant Anglo American PLC has sold a 24.5 per cent stake in its Chilean subsidiary to Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan for $5.39 billion.

Anglo American's announcement Wednesday says the deal is aimed at blocking a plan by the Chilean state copper company Codelco to exercise an option to buy a 49 per cent stake in January.

Codelco contends in a statement the deal doesn't affect its option and says it still plans to buy the 49 per cent stake. Anglo American argues the option is void since it no longer owns 100 per cent of the operation, which includes two mines and a smelter.

The deal is the second big one for Anglo American this month. On Friday, it bought control of the De Beers Group diamond company for $5.1 billion.