Gold projects are no longer the favourite destination of private capital raised for investment in the mining sector as optimism about electric vehicle demand steer funds into battery metals.
Private-equity deals in the mining industry bounced back in 2017 according to a new report by UK law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner with investment in the sector jumping by more than 30% to $2.3 billion.
Copper overtook gold as the most attractive commodity in 2017, with $1.6 billion in deals representing just shy of 70% of all money flowing into the sector.
Battery metals such as lithium, cobalt (which is mined as a byproduct of copper and nickel), vanadium and graphite attracted $175 million from private equity investors according to the report quoted by Bloomberg:
“With the continued recovery in the sector, 2018 is expected to see an ongoing deployment of capital by the mining private equity funds,” Alexander Keepin wrote in the report. “Battery metals, copper and gold are expected to continue to be the most popular commodities.”
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