Canada’s mining sector is set to experience a large rise in merger and acquisition activity this year following a series of contested takeover deals and the escalating price of metals.

Banks are also more likely to lend funds and China is ready to partner, motivating bigger companies to feed on smaller ones, according to a report by financial reporters at Reuters.

Canadian companies such as Teck Resources are focusing on Asia, particularly China, as a source of capital.

China, which has huge demand for commodities, is seeking secure resources through the acquisition of mines.

Companies such as Goldcorp have been expanding operations and are now trying to finalise acquisitions bids.

GoldCorp will spend $513m to purchase a 70% stake in Xstrata‘s El Morro copper-gold project, overtaking Barrick Gold’s existing bid, and has finalised the acquisition of Canplats Resources, fighting off Penmont’s takeover bid.

Cliffs Natural Resources has beat Noront Resource to acquire Canadian chromite explorer Freewest Resources, while Royal Gold beat Franco Nevada to International Royalty.

Such hostile bidding indicates that miners are ready to adopt aggressive strategies to lock down new assets this year, according to analysts.

Industry sources say that with base metal prices escalating, potential buyers are more comfortable with the acquisition of assets.