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China Snaps Up US$4.5bn in Foreign Mining Assets in Six Months

Citation:世紀矿业信息网 Date:2016-7-29 16:35:16

In the first half of 2016, as the commodity downturn pushed top mining companies to offload assets and shore up their balance sheets, China-backed funds and companies bought US$4.5 billion worth of overseas mining assets. 


A report by global law firm Baker & McKenzie says that is 18.2% more than in the same period in 2015. Increasingly, the transactions are coming from private and provincial-backed firms rather than large state-owned enterprises.


In May, China Molybdenum acquired Freeport-McMoRans stake in the Tenke Fungurume mine in Congo for US$2.65 billion. A month earlier, it agreed to buy niobium and phosphate assets in Brazil from Anglo American (LON:AAL) for US$1.5 billion.


Late last year Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, Chinas second largest producer and its biggest maker of battery-grade lithium, acquired 43% of the Mount Marion lithium project in Western Australia.


Last month Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG) signed an A$330 million deal with Alton Mining to acquire 60% of a copper-gold mine in Queensland, Australia.


Chinese firms are expected to continue acquiring existing operations in copper, cobalt and gold, despite the yellow metals 25% price increase in 2016, to reduce the countrys dependence on international producers.