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Japan's Marubeni to invest in Hudbay's exploration activities

March 13 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals said on Wednesday that Japanese trading house Marubeni will invest up to C$12 million ($8.90 million) across exploration activities at three of the miner's projects.

Once the funding and some other obligations are met, the two firms could also form a joint venture under which Marubeni would gain 20% interest in the three mining projects located within trucking distance of Hudbay's processing facilities in Flin Flon, Manitoba, the company said.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding the companies signed in July.

The agreement would allow Hudbay to explore its large Flin Flon land package to potentially bring another mine into production and utilize its idle processing infrastructure in the region, Hudbay CEO Peter Kukielski said.

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Canada is home to a large mining sector for minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt and has been wooing firms involved in all levels of the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.

However, it has also tightened foreign investment rules for the critical minerals sector over national security concerns and had forced three Chinese investors to sell their stakes in Canadian mineral companies in 2022.

($1 = 1.3486 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)