The former chief of Xstrata and founder of mining company X2 Resources, Mick Davis, has not tabled a bid for some key Anglo American assets, as reported over the weekend, sources close to X2 told CityAM.
Without citing names The Sunday Times (subs. required) broke the news yesterday that Davis had made an offer for Anglo’s assets including copper mines in Chile, Brazilian nickel mines and some coal operations.
While CityAM sources said talks of a bid are premature, they didn’t deny “Mick The Miner”, as he is also known in the industry, is interested in such assets.
In 2013, Davis sold Xstrata to Glencore for $27 billion and by September of the same year, he established X2 Resources to create a new mid-sized diversified mining and metals group. The new company has already raised almost $5 billion from a number of investors.
This is not the first time Davis has tried to buy assets from one of the world’s top miners. Last month it was disclosed that his new firm held talks with BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) earlier this year to buy its unloved operations, mostly coal mines, in an ambitious deal that would have broken up the world’s biggest miner.
The 56-year-old South African entrepreneur and the rest of the team behind X2, which also involves former Xstrata finance director Trevor Reid, believe the firm could profit from picking up assets other mining companies, under financial strain of getting funds for ongoing projects, are forced to sell at very low price.
Davis is only one of the many former chiefs of mining companies who have recently launched investment vehicles.
Ex-Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE: ABX) boss, Aaron Regent, is another one who has grab headlines this month as earlier this month he struck his first deal, spending $500 million in a niobium mine and rare earth deposit from Canadian miner Iamgold Corp. (TSX: IMG) (NYSE:IAG).