Weekly Market Recap (May.3) – Premium Era for Copper Mining Assets Has Arrived!

Premium Era for Copper Mining Assets
Published on: May 3, 2024

Last week, the world’s largest mining company, BHP Group (NYSE:BHP), made an all-stock merger proposal to Anglo American (LON:AAL). BHP Group suggested that Anglo American should first spin off its platinum and iron ore operations in South Africa, indicating BHP’s interest in the copper mining assets of Anglo American. If successful, the merged company would become the largest copper producer globally.

HudBay Minerals Inc’s (TSX:HBM) CEO, Peter Kukielski, stated that although Anglo American rejected the acquisition proposal last Friday, citing the $39 billion acquisition price as a premium purchase, it still undervalued the company. Furthermore, this back-and-forth negotiation demonstrates positive prospects for copper mining, leading to an increase in the valuation of copper assets. It suggests that potential future acquirers may be willing to pay even higher premiums for existing copper mines.

Today, reports surfaced that the commodity giant Glencore (UK:GLEN) is considering launching a takeover bid for Anglo American. If Glencore decides to join this bidding war, it will further elevate the acquisition price.

Last September, Eduardo Covarrubias, Chairman of the mining development company Los Andes Copper Ltd. (TSXV: LAOTCQX: LSANF) , expressed in an interview with “Metals 100” that regardless of recent fluctuations in the copper market, there will be structural shortages in the market over the next 7-8 years due to the inability of copper supply to keep up with the demand generated by electrification, making large greenfield projects particularly important. Los Andes Copper’s Vizcachitas project will become Chile’s next large copper mine.

On Tuesday, the three-month copper price on the London Metal Exchange (LME) reached a two-year high, exceeding $10,200 per ton.

Over the past year, there has been a surge in copper demand, which is expected to persist. Copper is a key material in renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicle batteries. The transition to global clean energy will inevitably drive copper demand. Additionally, copper is widely used in construction, electronics, and other industries, benefiting from the robust growth of the global economy.

Simultaneously, copper production remains constrained. Due to factors such as environmental regulations and permitting, the development of new copper mines is a protracted process, while the expansion of existing copper mines may not keep pace with demand growth.

Base Metals Clean Energy Copper M&A