Deal Could Forge Mining Goliath

Sky-high demand for minerals driving mergers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2007 5:19 AM CST
In this undated hand out photo supplied by Alcan South Pacific, the Alcan Gove Alumina refinery in the Northern Territory, Australia, is seen. (AP Photo/Alcan South Pacific PTY LTD, HO)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The biggest mining company in the world is aiming to get even bigger. BHP Billiton's $142 billion bid for Rio Tinto has been turned down, but the firm is still keen to make a deal, reports the Wall Street Journal. The deal would be the second-largest in history, and the combined company would dominate world production of some key minerals.

Rising costs and the ever-growing demand for minerals, especially from China, has led to a recent wave of mergers in the mining world. Rio Tinto only just finalized its own takeover of Canadian mining heavyweight Alcan yesterday—just as BHP's dynamic new chief executive confirmed he was in pursuit of Rio. The news led to sharp rises in mining stocks.