Metals X on Friday made an unsolicited bid for fellow Australia-listed miner Aditya Birla Minerals, part of India's Aditya Birla Group, joining a growing number of companies looking to increase their investments in copper production in the country.
The all-stock offer valuing the target at around A$85 million ($60 million) pushed up Aditya Birla shares by as much as 44 per cent to A$0.26, putting them on track for their largest single-day percentage gain since late 2009.
A successful acquisition would give Metals X, predominately a gold and tin miner, control of Aditya Birla's sole operating mine, Nifty, in Western Australia, which is forecast by the company to yield between 24,000 and 27,000 tonnes of copper in fiscal 2016.
Metals X is offering one of its shares for every five Aditya Birla shares - equivalent to roughly $0.274 per Aditya Birla share, a premium to the A$0.17 closing price on Thursday.
Aditya Birla said it would study the offer and advised its shareholders not to take any action in the meantime.
Australian copper miners have been catching the eyes of investors looking beyond the downward trajectory in metals markets, with private investment giant KKR & Co LP this month taking a position in Oz Minerals.
That deal follows one last month where private investors, ERM and Lighthouse Minerals, partnered to buy another copper mine held by Aditya Birla, which is 51-percent owned by India's Hindalco Industries.
On a larger scale, Chinese state-owned investor Guangdong Rising Assets Management (GRAM) in May completed a takeover of PanAust Ltd after that company finalised a A$125 million deal to buy a copper project in Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile, Glencore International last week put a copper mine in Australia and another in Chile on the block in hopes of attracting buyers.
Copper last week reached its highest since September 18 at $5,356 a tonne.