Tuesday March 31, 2015, 12:25pm PDT
By Teresa Matich - Exclusive to Copper Investing News
Following a Bloomberg report put out Monday suggesting that Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) and Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO) were in talks regarding a merger, both companies have put out press releases denying that claim.
The article from Bloomberg stated that Teck and Antofagasta had conducted early-stage talks, although it noted that the miners both said they were not currently in negotiations. Antofagasta said it could confirm it was not in discussions regarding a potential merger, while Teck said that it was “not in discussions with Antofagasta in relation to any form of transaction,” adding that there were “no other corporate developments that justify any significant movement in its share price.”
Shares of Teck gained 11 percent, or $1.98, to close at $19.45 yesterday. However, the company’s stock dropped back down 10 percent on Tuesday morning after both companies denied talks of a merger.
As noted by the Financial Post, the combination of Teck and Antofagasta would create one of the biggest copper producers in the world. Both companies are largely family-controlled – the Keevil family backs Teck, while the Luksic family owns 65 percent of Antofagasta’s shares.
The Post also stated that Teck has “been eager to grow its Chilean copper output,” but has not moved forward with QB2 or Relincho, its two major operations in Chile. Furthermore, it has a large spending commitment at its Fort Hills oil sands project that’s putting pressure on the company’s finances. Certainly, investors will be keeping an eye out for any developments.
Meanwhile, copper prices are holding relatively steady at about $2.76 per pound. The metal slipped slightly on Thursday after a number of copper mines restarted in Chile after shutting the previous day due to heavy rains and flooding. The disaster has been reported to be the worst in 80 years.
Copper prices have crept up 2.7 percent over the past month, but are still down 6.87 percent since the start of the year.
Last Monday, Pacific Booker Minerals (TSXV:BKM) responded16 to recommendations from an independent panel report on the tailings dam failure at Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Mount Polley Mine last year by submitting a report to BC’s Environmental Assessment Office. The report, prepared by Klohn Crippen Berger, uses best available practices and best available technologies that are appropriate for site conditions.
The next day, Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) announced19 that China’s Zijin Mining Group would buy a 9.9 percent stake in the company. Robert Friedland, chairman of Ivanhoe, said that the move signaled the first major commitment by an international mining company to provide support for the company’s projects.
Foran Mining (TSXV:FOM) confirmed and expanded mineralization at a copper-zinc discovery at its Balsam property in Saskatchewan last Wednesday. The discovery lies southeast of Foran’s McIlvenna Bay deposit. “Based on Foran’s exploration and discoveries of VMS mineralization around McIlvenna Bay, we believe the Hanson Lake Camp will develop into a long-lived mining camp similar to Flin Flon and Snow Lake,” said Foran president and CEO Patrick Soares.
On Thursday, Excelsior Mining (TSXV:MIN) released assay results from its feasibility resource upgrade program at its Gunnison copper project in Arizona, and announced the completion of a hydrology drill program at the project. The company also stated that pump testing has started and will continue over the next several months, while remaining key feasibility work programs are still running on schedule.