Research by law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has revealed that private equity investment in mining projects surged by 238% to more than $3.15bn in 2015.

BLP’s annual ‘Private Equity in Mining’ report highlights an increase of 57% in the amount mining private equity invested through more than 119 deals, when compared with 2014.

In 2015, 11% of deals had exposure to the underlying commodity and a further 18% of the equity investments were coupled with some form of debt.

"A total investment of $4.53bn was made in 2015."

A total of $4.53bn investment was made in 2015, doubling the amount invested in 2014.

The report noted that gold accounts for 36% of all deals and copper attracted $868m investments.

North America invested $758m in 40 deals, while Europe invested $922m in six deals.

Deals have doubled in 2015 in Africa, which witnessed a 22% increase in the amount invested to $367m.

BLP Mining partner, corporate finance and co-head Alexander Keepin said: "Despite 2015 proving to be another difficult year for the mining industry, private equity activity in the mining sector has increased significantly.

"The continued depression in commodity prices and equity markets for natural resource companies means that private equity funding is likely to continue to be a primary source of finance in the mining industry in the next 12 months."