The federal government is giving Switzerland’s Glencore PLC a clear path to acquiring Canada’s largest coal miner from Teck Resources Ltd., while making it clear Ottawa will block any foreign player bidding for all of Teck itself, the country’s critical minerals champion.
Although federal officials previously signed off on acquisitions of major metals producers – so long Inco Ltd., farewell Alcan Inc. – the current regime signalled a more protectionist, nationalist approach this week during a news conference at a condo construction site in Toronto.
Hard-hat-clad federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was in front of the cameras, talking up what her government is doing to build more rental housing – offering low interest rate loans to developers. A reporter asked for the government’s view on the Glencore bid, made public just a few hours earlier.
Ms. Freeland moved seamlessly from housing to rhyming off a list of conditions the Swiss resource conglomerate must meet to win approval for its US$6.93-billion bid for a 77-per-cent stake in Elk Valley Resources Ltd., Teck’s B.C. steelmaking coal business. (Two Asian steelmakers will own the remainder.)
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