Mining M&A Surges In First Half

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Accounting firm Ernst & Young said global mining mergers and acquisitions totaled $96.3 billion in the first half of 2011, more than doubling from $47.9 billion in the first half of 2011 and nearly equaling the total for all of 2010. There were $113.7 billion worth of deals made all of last year.

Coal deals led the way in terms of value while gold transactions were tops by volume, according to Reuters. Ernst & Young said that it expects more mining deals could take place in the second half of this year than compared with the first. The number of initial public offerings in mining & metals rose 30% to 73 in the first half, while total proceeds more than doubled to $13.0 billion, Reuters reported.

One of the marquee deals in the coal sector in the second half could be Peabody Energy's (BTU) $5.1 billion bid for Australia's Macarthur Coal, the world's largest producer of pulverized coal. Peabody, the largest U.S. coal company, is making its move for Macarthur with ArcelorMittal (MT), the world's largest steelmaker.

Peabody could face competition in from China's Citic Group, which owns 24% of Macarthur. Last week, various press outlets reported Citic could be mulling a bid for Macarthur, though the Chinese company did not confirm that is made a decision yet.