OPINION: BHP’s failed pursuit of Anglo American does not mean mining megadeals are dead – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – June 1, 2024)


BHP Group’s botched bid for Anglo American brings the curtain down on the greatest takeover attempt in global mining in more than a decade. The megamerger game will not end here. BHP’s lunge for its smaller rival highlighted a hard truth: Copper is in short supply and any big mining company without it will pay the price as economies strive for low-carbon futures.

The desire to own Anglo’s copper assets, including its 44-per-cent stake in Chile’s Collahuasi mine, one of the world’s biggest copper reserves, propelled BHP’s pursuit of Anglo. Copper is the metal considered most critical to the energy revolution.

On paper, BHP seemed poised to win Anglo. BHP is the world’s biggest mining house, with a market value of US$150-billion. Its monstrous size would make lesser rivals shy away from launching competing bids. It is led by a Canadian chief executive, Mike Henry, with a reputation for meticulous planning – no cowboy, he.

And Anglo was vulnerable. Its London-listed shares had been trashed by a series of mishaps, including production shortfalls and gruesome cost overruns at its Woodsmith fertilizer mine in England.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-bhps-failed-pursuit-of-anglo-american-does-not-mean-mining-megadeals/