After a shareholder majority tendered in its favor, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is significantly closer to a $5 billion hostile acquisition of Canada’s Inmet Mining Corp.—and ownership of one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits. With a total of 61.5% of outstanding shares, the Vancouver-based First Quantum is more closely poised to take over the $6.2 billion Cobre Panama project in Central America, easing its dependence on volatile African mines, particularly Zambia, a frequent site of labor unrest.
For their part, Inmet officials have urged shareholders to reject what they consider First Quantum’s undervalued offer. The Toronto-based company has sought to divest a minority stake in Cobre Panama to advance its value—and bargaining power. With operations in Spain, Finland and Turkey, Inmet has officially been a takeover target since its first announcement of an unrequested First Quantum bid in November.