The Mining Deals report predicts that the international industry is consolidating, with an eat or be eaten mentality affecting companies of all sizes.
According to the findings, the volume of mining deals rose 69 per cent between 2006 and 2007. Total transaction value was £78.7 billion, up by 18 per cent on the previous year.
The report finds little evidence of a slowdown in deal activity as a result of the credit crunch. Indeed, the number of mining deals announced in the fourth quarter of 2007 was more than double the level recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2006 and the latest heavyweight moves by the biggest players has got 2008 mining deal-making off to an unprecedented start.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global mining leader, Tim Goldsmith, said: “No company can stand aside in this environment. Everybody needs to be on the front foot as well as looking over their shoulders.
“The very biggest companies are positioning themselves to achieve super-consolidated global scale. They face considerable competition from fast-growing companies emerging from India, Russia and China. The industry landscape is set to change dramatically.”
The report found that underpinning the trend is the push for world scale, resource acquisition and resource diversification. High commodity prices and optimism about the industry’s long-term growth and profitability – with sustained demand in Asia outstripping fluctuations in western demand – are seeing companies embarking on ambitious long-term growth strategies.