Former Xstrata boss Mick Davis’ Canada links set mining rumour mill turning – by James Thomson (Australian Financial Review – April 13, 2015)

They seek him here, they seek him there, those miners seek him everywhere! Mining industry chief Mick Davis might not exactly have a secret identity like the Scarlet Pimpernel, but he seems to share a few common traits with the legendary literary figure right at the moment.

The former Xstrata boss now heads up X2 Resources and has raised about $7.2 billion to buy unloved, undervalued and unwanted mining assets and companies.

It’s such a huge amount of money and such a huge brief that, like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he seems to be everywhere at once. His exploits are talked about in hushed tones by unnamed sources and no one is exactly sure where he might strike first.

Will it be a raid on BHP Billiton’s South32, before or after it is spun off? Does he have his eyes on assets within Rio Tinto or Anglo American’s giant portfolios? Could he swoop in Australia, Canada, London or South Africa?

On the weekend there was a sighting of the Mining Pimpernel in Canada, with a Bloomberg report saying unnamed sources had linked Davis with three Canadian mining companies.

The report suggested that Hudbay Minerals (a copper, gold and silver miner), Capstone Mining (a copper miner) and Imperial Metals (a copper and gold miner) were among the Canadian companies that Davis and X2 are running the rule over.

X2 hasn’t commented at this stage, but then again, what secret mining superhero would?

There must be some doubt that all members of the Canadian trio are really dirt cheap. The share price of Hudbay, which has a market capitalisation of $C2.7 billion ($2.8 billion), has jumped 41 per cent since mid-January. The shares of Imperial Metals, which has a market cap of $C979 million, have climbed 31 per cent since the start of the year.

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