PDAC-HudBay eyes prospects with majors on sidelines

Wed Mar 6, 2013 10:17am EST
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* Senior miners avoid M&A after unpopular deals

* Juniors struggling to survive, seek takeovers

* Mid-tiers positioned to get first pick

* HudBay seeks next generation of projects

By Julie Gordon

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - Most of the world's top miners are shying away from takeovers this year, clearing the way for mid-tier producers like HudBay Minerals Inc to make competitive bids for assets coming up for sale, the company's CEO told Reuters at a Toronto mining convention.

After being burned by costly deals made during the boom, most major metals companies have pledged to rein in costs - with some even looking to divest non-core assets.

That's a big shift from just two years ago, when soaring metal prices had the majors elbowing out the smaller guys to get their hands on the best projects, said David Garofalo, chief executive of HudBay, on the sidelines of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto.

"As long as I've been in the business the seniors have been buying, buying, buying - trying to fill out an increasingly large pipeline," he said. "Now they're selling."   Continued...