Home > Mining Week > Mining Week 10/’12: Xstrata buys coal, Molycorp goes downstream

Mining Week 10/’12: Xstrata buys coal, Molycorp goes downstream

March 11, 2012

Top Stories of the Week:

  • Xstrata buys more Canadian coking coal
    • Xstrata buys the Sukunka coking coal deposit from Talisman Energy for $500mln in cash. The deposit holds 236 million tonnes measured and indicated resource. The non-producing asset is located in the same region as two other assets bought by Xstrata last year.
    • Sources: Xstrata press release; Talisman press release; Financial Times
  • Glencore/Xstrata merger debates
    • While the merger antitrust investigations for the GlenStrata merger are getting started, the executives of both companies are going on a tour to Xstrata’s major shareholders to get buy-in. Several large shareholders (Standard Life, Schroders) have indicated they will vote against the deal at the current 2.8 shares of Glencore per share of Xstrata valuation.
    • Sources: Financial Times; Bloomberg
  • Molycorp integrates downstream with $1.3bln takeover
    • Molycorp, the largest non-Chinese miner of rare earth minerals, made a takeover bid for Canadian processing company Neo Material Technologies, for $1.2bln. The deal will be paid roughly in roughly 2/3 cash and 1/3 shares. The strategic objective of Molycorp is to become a strong player in processing rare earths into semi-finished goods and to gain a strong foothold in exports to China.
    • Sources: Molycorp press release; Wall Street Journal; Financial Times

Trends & Implications:

  • The continued investment in iron ore and coal assets by both the major diversified miners and many smaller players is based on a belief that the long term demand for construction materials will increase for several decades driven by two main trends: global population growth (more persons), and resource intensity growth (more material per person). Rio Tinto’s latest iron ore presentation summarizes these two points in the pictures below:

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  • The large mining companies reiterate these points every in every single investor presentation. Because many investors want to see more cash returned to the shareholdes in relatively uncertain times, the companies have to stress continuously that long term fundamentals look good and that large investments are needed.

©2012 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

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