Resources hunt fuels global mining M&As

Updated: 2011-08-30 09:31

By Zhang Qi (China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

BEIJING - China was tied for second place in global mining transactions in the first half of this year, after the United States, as the country pursued resources to fuel its economic growth, experts from consultancy company KPMG LLP told China Daily on Monday.

The US dominated the global mining mergers and acquisitions (M&As) market in the first half, accounting for 18 percent of the total deal value, while China and Canada each accounted for 17 percent of global mining M&A transactions, Wayne Jansen, global partner of KPMG in charge of the global mining industry, said.

More than 75 percent of mining M&A transactions by value took place in the copper, gold and coal sectors, he said.

China is competing with global mining players for these metals, he said. Iron ore, a raw material for making steel, is China's particular target as the country is the world's largest steel producer and iron ore consumer.

China has been long looking to buy iron ore resources that will ensure supply as the world's three biggest miners - Vale SA, BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto PLC - control two-thirds of the global iron ore market and have great influence over prices.

China dominated the global mining and metals transactions market in 2009 when it was one of the few countries that had cash to spare amid the global financial downturn.

However, many of those countries bounced back in 2010, pushing China to fourth in the global mining transactions market in 2010.

"Now, the situation is more balanced. China is still a very significant player - but not the only player," said Brian Imrie, global head of M&A, Mining Industry at KPMG.

The growth of steel consumption and booming electricity demand mean that iron ore, uranium, thermal coal and coking coal will remain "metal stars" for Chinese mining companies, Imrie said.

Potash, a key ingredient in fertilizer, is also an important mineral for China as it needs to ensure stable food supplies, said Jansen.

With green technology expected to surge in the coming years, rare earth and platinum, used in the renewable energy and high-technology industries, will also be popular targets for mining companies, Jansen added.