Rio Tinto's Market Timing of New Copper Find

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M&A Activity, Non-ferrous Metals

Imagine this headline: “Rio Tinto Just Found a Whole Load of Copper”. Or this one: “BHP to Swallow Rio Tinto”. Both are real, and both came from Forbes. What’s interesting is the timing of one in conjunction with the second. As has been widely reported, BHP made a hostile takeover bid for Rio Tinto back in early February. But Rio is trying to maintain its independence. Last Friday’s discovery of about 628 million tons of additional copper helped that initiative. The new copper was found below the current Kennecott Utah Copper Bingham Canyon pit, according to the article. Interesting timing is all I can say about this find.

As someone who prefers free markets, competition is a very good thing. So who am I to question this sudden discovery? As an aside, a combined BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto would be the third largest company in the world. Now that is some industry power the metals markets don’t need right now!

–Lisa Reisman

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