The value of mining mergers and acquisitions may increase twofold in 2010 as China and India aim to secure supplies of raw materials, analysts at Ernst & Young have said.

Ernst & Young said the total deal value may rebound to levels seen in 2006 when $175bn of deals were done, after halving to $60bn last year.

Producers are also expected to focus on growth in 2010 instead of cutting costs, as was seen last year when the global economy took a dive and the price of metals dropped.

As metal prices pick up, however, things are likely to change but how fast remains still to be seen. PwC said earlier in the month it thought while deals would pick up, it could take a while for the size of the mergers and acquisitions in the space grew.

The highest value of deals made in the last few years was in 2007, when $210bn was made.

Anglo American and Vale SA sold a record amount of dollar bonds last year to boost war chests for acquisitions, expansions and buybacks.

China made the most acquisitions last year, accounting for 24% of all deals, compared with 18% in 2008.