2023 saw the world’s largest gold miner created, after Newmont wrapped up the $16.8bn (A$26.2bn) takeover of Newcrest in November.

Big hitters BHP and Glencore were – of course – never far from the action throughout the year.

But it was Newmont’s Newcrest gold deal that caught the eye of analysts at GlobalData, the parent company of Mining Technology.

The merged entity will also have a “robust” production of copper, after Newcrest Mining’s shareholders approved the acquisition with 92.63% of the votes cast favouring the deal.

The miner claims that the combined group will have a portfolio comprising more than half of the world’s tier-one assets with long-life operations, ample exploration prospects, as well as value-accretive projects.

Analysts are keeping a watching eye, though, on how the newly merged entity will be structured – and what assets will be retained or offloaded – into 2024 and beyond

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By GlobalData

Elsewhere, BHP enhanced its position in copper and nickel in 2023, in line it seems with its increasing focus on critical mineral, as it bought Oz minerals in a $6.4bn deal. BHP CEO Mike Henry said at the time of the deal in May that the acquisition is in line with the organisation’s goals to “meet the increasing demand for the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels to support the energy transition”.

Also in 2023, Pan American bought Yamana Gold for $4.8bn. The deal, while perhaps not too surprising in itself, represents a significant expansion of Pan American’s precious metals footprint in LatAm, adding four producing mines to the organisation’s portfolio and taking it into Brazil and Chile. The transaction also saw Yamana sell its Canadian assets, including its stake in the Canadian Malartic mine to Agnico Eagle Mines.

Just this month, meanwhile, Allkem and Livent sealed a $10.6bn “merger of equals” and if the all-stock deal goes through it will see the formation of one of the biggest lithium companies in the world.

The newly-formed company will own massive areas of land across major lithium producing nations including Australia, Argentina and Canada. It will also be involved in operations across the supply chain, from mining the critical mineral to delivering refined products to battery makers.

And, of course, Glencore was not to be outdone in 2023, as it bought a majority stake in Teck’s coking coal business in a deal which implies $9bn in enterprise value for Elk Valley Resources.

Teck Resources agreed to divest a 100% stake in EVR to Glencore, Nippon Steel and South Korea’s POSCO. Glencore is planning to demerge the combined business within 24 months of the deal’s close.