Shares in mining companies rose yesterday following Rio Tinto’s strong fourth quarter production report which proved Chinese demand for iron ore was strong.

The mining industry in Canada also reacted to analyst predictions that the mining environment could be strong over the next year, with miners eager to snap up investments.

Meanwhile, Antofagasta entered into a legally binding agreement with Duluth Metals to acquire a 40% stake in the latter’s Nokomis copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit in Minnesota, US, for $130m.

The funds will be used for an exploration and feasibility study to run over three years.

Antofagasta has the option to purchase a further 25% stake in Nokomis based on operating parameters given in the feasibility study, which will be exercisable and payable upon receipt of the necessary permits to advance the project.

Cardero Resources’ Peruvian subsidiary Cardero Hierro Del Peru has obtained the final tranche of $30m from Zibo Hongda Mining’s Peruvian subsidiary Jinzhao Mining Peru, which completes the $100m sale of the Pampa de Pongo Iron Deposit in Peru to Nanjinzhao.

Adhunik has commenced negotiations to acquire a 50% stake in an Australian coking coal mine with 180 million tonnes of coal reserves in the Bowen Basin of Queensland for $100m.

Canada’s Kirkland Lake Gold entered into a bought deal private placement with underwriters to sell an aggregate of 3,880,500 units at $8.01 (C$8.25) per unit for $31.1m (C$32m) gross proceeds on an underwritten private placement basis.

Kirkland will use the net proceeds of the private placement for working capital and general corporate purposes.