By Lynn Thomasson

Glencore Plc plans to increase its stake in Peruvian zinc miner Volcan Compania Minera S.A.A., boosting its bet on soaring zinc prices.

Glencore has reached an agreement with shareholders to buy 27 percent of the Class A voting stock and will offer to increase its stake via a public tender, according to an emailed statement. Depending on the number of shareholders that accept the offer, Glencore may spend between $531 million and $965 million.

The mining giant said it will control between 45 percent and 66 percent of Volcan’s Class A voting shares and hold an economic interest between 19 percent and 28 percent.
“The transaction will provide an increase and extension of Glencore’s zinc production profile and the opportunity for synergies with Glencore’s existing Peruvian zinc operations,” the company said in the statement.

Zinc prices have rallied in the past year on supply cutbacks by miners, including Glencore, and China’s tougher curbs on mining. Glencore said it’s been a shareholder in Volcan since 2004.

Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, is a senior independent non-executive director at Glencore.