UPDATE 2-Miners Teck, Antofagasta deny they are in merger talks

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:56pm EDT
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(Recasts with denials from Teck Resources, Antofagasta)

March 30 (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd and Antofagasta Plc denied on Monday that they were in talks about a merger after Bloomberg news reported that the two mining companies were in early stage talks.

Teck said in statement it was not in discussions with Antofagasta "in relation to any form of transaction."

Vancouver-based Teck also said there "no other corporate developments that justify any significant movement in its share price." Teck's stock surged 11 percent to close at C$19.45 after the Bloomberg report.

The news agency, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter, earlier reported that Teck and London-listed Antofagasta had explored a merger that would create one of the world's biggest copper producers.

With a market value of $8.1 billion, Teck is Canada's largest diversified mining company, with operations including copper, zinc and coal mines in the Americas. It is backed by Canada's Keevil family.

Chilean copper producer Antofagasta has a market value of $10.8 billion and is majority-owned by Chile's Luksic family.

Mergers and acquisitions in the mining industry have plummeted along with commodity prices in recent years. Last year, the value of global mining M&A fell 19 percent from 2013, to $79 billion, Thomson Reuters data show. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)