BHP Rumored To Be Interested In Copper Miner

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BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, is reportedly considering making a joint bid with Sweden's Nyrstar NV for Canadian copper miner Lundin Mining, a company that has been a frequent takeover target. Lundin has received takeover offers in the past three years, according to Bloomberg News.

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Nyrstar declined to comment on the speculation. Canada's Inment Mining agreed to acquire Lundin in January, but Australia's Equinox Minerals entered with a superior offering. Those talks fell apart and Lundin said it has yet to receive a compelling takeover offer.

After a series of large-scale takeover failures, BHP CEO Marius Kloppers said earlier this year his company would pass on big acquisitions in favor of using some of its massive cash hoard to invest in its own mines and oil and gas fields. That posture did not last long as BHP offered $12.1 billion to acquire Petrohawk Energy (HK) last month.

The purchase of Lundin would make sense for BHP as the Australian firm is already one of the world's largest producers of base metals. The company's copper portfolio includes Chile's Escondida mine, the world's single largest copper producing mine, according to BHP's Web site.