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Mining Private-Equity Deals Favor Copper Over Gold In 2017 - U.K. Law Firm

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Mining Private-Equity Deals Favor Copper Over Gold - U.K. Law Firm

(Kitco News) - Copper mining projects were the favorite option of private-equity deals in the mining industry in 2017, with gold projects taking a backseat amid a higher demand for electric vehicles, according to a report by U.K. law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).

The value of private-equity deals witnessed a rebound in 2017, with investment surging more than 30% to $2.3 billion, said the report. The most popular commodity projects last year were copper, gold and battery materials.

The total amount was a big improvement from 2016 but was still below 2015’s peak of $3.2 billion.

“With the continued recovery in the sector, 2018 is expected to see an ongoing deployment of capital by the mining private equity funds,” BLP’s partner and head of mining Alexander Keepin said in the report. “Battery metals, copper and gold are expected to continue to be the most popular commodities.”

There were a total of $1.6 billion worth of copper deals made, which represented almost 70% of all private-equity money in the mining sector, the report added.

And battery metals — lithium, cobalt, vanadium, and graphite — were responsible for $175 million worth of deals.

The report also highlighted that almost half of private-equity investments made were in Africa.

Copper prices have been doing well this week, last trading at $3.2219, while gold saw mixed results, with April Comex gold futures last at $1,332.60, up 0.23% on the day. 

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