If you're selling, hungry Hudbay is buying

Bloomberg reports Toronto-based HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) is looking to make the most of a "buyer's market" for mining assets this year and is willing to spend up to $400 million to expand its portfolio.

David Garofalo, CEO of the $2bn-company with copper, zinc, gold and silver projects in Canada and South America, is sanguine about the outlook for copper and explains the reasons for the company's eagerness to pick up new mines and projects this way:

“We’re looking at a lot of things and I’m hoping that we can tuck something in this year,” Garofalo, 47, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s office in Toronto, where HudBay is based. “We’ve never been busier looking at opportunities.”

Exploration and development companies face funding shortfalls after mining-industry equity sales dropped for a third straight year as valuations declined and bank lending fell. At the same time, mining companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, the two largest, have been looking to sell less-profitable assets.