State-controlled mining company Jiangxi Copper Corp. Ltd. is stalking Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals Ltd., owner of the largest copper mine in Africa, an approach driven by the Chinese government’s drive to lock up supplies of natural resources in the continent.
First Quantum recently hired investment bankers and lawyers to deal with a potential takeover bid from Jiangxi, China’s largest copper producer, according to financial industry sources who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak for the company. These sources said Jiangxi has not made a formal offer, and may decide to abandon the chase.
First Quantum’s share price jumped a total of 20 per cent on Thursday and Friday. Bloomberg this week reported possible takeover interest by global miners and a toehold 9-per-cent investment in the Canadian miner by Jiangxi. First Quantum stock closed Friday at $12.21 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, valuing the company at $8.4-billion.
Lisa Doddridge, director of investor relations at First Quantum, declined comment on Friday. First Quantum expects to produce about 718,000 tonnes of copper this year, or about 3.5 per cent of the entire global market.
It owns two mines in Zambia, including Kansanshi, Africa’s biggest copper mine, in which it has an 80-per-cent stake. It also has properties in Europe, Australia and Panama.
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