SANTIAGO, July 12 (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American Plc and world no. 1 copper producer Codelco will ask for a second extension, to mid August of negotiations to end a row over disputed assets, Codelco said on Thursday.
Investors are watching closely to see if state-owned copper giant Codelco and Anglo will hash out an agreement or whether they will plunge back into a courtroom showdown that could drag on for years.
"The negotiations between the two firms continue and therefore there is still no deal between the parties," Codelco said in a statement. "To have more time to explore the possibility of an agreement, both firms have agreed to solicit that the conciliation session be extended to mid August."
The miners had already asked a local court to extend their negotiation window to July 17 from June 22.
Codelco chairman Gerardo Jofre said on Friday the firms aimed to reach a deal by their self-imposed deadline of July 17.
The bitter contract dispute 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 surprised everyone with the pre-emptive sale of a 24.5 percent stake in AAS to Mitsubishi Corp, in 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.
Anglo shares were trading 2.12 percent lower on Thursday, somewhat outperforming a 2.84 percent loss on the broader FTSE 350 mining index.