Asarco sells operating assets to Sterlite Inc.

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - Copper producer Asarco LLC plans to sell its Amarillo refinery and other operating assets to Sterlite for $1.7 billion.

Sterlite is a subsidiary of Indian metals and mining company Sterlite Industries Ltd. and London-based Vedanta Resources PLC.

The Amarillo Globe-News today reports Sterlite won't take on asbestos and environmental claims from previous Asarco operations in the U.S.

The other assets being sold include three copper mines, associated mills and SX-EW plants in Arizona, a copper smelter in Arizona and rod and cake plants and precious metals facility in Texas.

A bankruptcy judge in Corpus Christi must approve the deal since it's part of Tucson-based Asarco's plan to reorganize under Chapter 11.

A spokeswoman says no immediate changes were expected at Amarillo's copper refinery, which has about 350 workers.