A $43B bid to become the world’s largest copper miner

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably not that well-versed in the business and legal drama that’s engulfed the global mining industry in recent days, but the proposed takeover of miner Anglo American by competitor BHP is a US$43 billion story worth paying attention to. 

What happened: BHP, an Australian miner, is attempting to buy Anglo American, a British miner, in a bid to create the world's largest copper miner. Anglo has stakes in several significant copper mines in Chile and Peru, accounting for nearly 20% of its annual revenue. 

  • Anglo thinks it’s being undervalued and is now breaking up the business to sell its less profitable coal, nickel, diamond, and platinum businesses to block the deal.  

Why copper? Prices for the red metal have been soaring recently, and are up 30% in the last six months alone. Copper is used in everything from electric vehicles to energy grids to artificial intelligence data centres, so it’s seen as a critical metal for economic growth. 

Why it matters: Demand for copper is forecasted to double by 2035, so miners are vying to get in on the action. But as the Financial Times reports, switching the ownership of lucrative mines doesn’t address the underlying problem: The world needs more supply, and fast.—SB