Former mining bosses gather strength for acquisitions

Low asset prices in the floundering mining sector has brought a number of former mining bosses to begin making moves to take advantage of the situation.

Former Western Mining Corporation chief executive Hugh Morgan has set up a private fund to invest in bargain-priced mining assets in copper and gold, according to SMH, however the fund has not yet begun to raise funds.

"It is still very much in the emerging stages in terms of putting it together," he said.

Analysts say copper prices will make a good recovery in the tightening market, as there is no justification for low prices with shortages predicted, WSJ reported.

Former Xtrata CEO Mick Davis announced last week he had set up a private fund worth $7.3 billion in capital for X2, which would be used to hunt for unwanted mining assets.

Pundits have pegged X2 as a major player for acquisitions in the retracting market, however they have been yet to make a play.

"We continue to carefully review a number of opportunities in the sector in detail," Davis told the press.

"Whilst value-creating opportunities are increasingly evident, the long-term nature of our strategy provides us with the flexibility to target those opportunities where we see the greatest potential for value creation."

Former Barrick Gold MD Aaron Regent has also been named by SMH as setting up a private fund called Magris Resources, based in Canada.

Former Oxiana boss Owen Hegarty raised $450 million through the EMR Captial Fund, now majority shareholder of explorer Highfield Resources, which has potash development projects in Spain.

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