The sound of voices predicting the end of the commodity super cycle that began at the start of this millennium reached a crescendo pitch during 2011. The end of China. The end of India. The end of the nuclear age. The end of the American dream. The end of the Euro. With each of these expected ends, markets assumed a necessary end to the demand for mining resources.
Our theme this year, “On the road again?” borrowed from American philosopher and musician Bob Dylan, is a reference to the brazen wisdom demonstrated by the mining community in 2011, so conﬁ dent in the long term fundamentals that, for the most part, critical voices were drowned out. Global mining M&A activity increased 33% over the prior year and nearly hit a record high. Buyers were plentiful, bidding wars ensued and valuations were high. Not at all the kinds of behaviours expected in a cyclical downturn. Our annual M&A year in review revisits the 2011 trends: who was buying and selling, what resources were sought out, what drove deal premiums and, of increasing importance, what the differences were in buying behaviours between developed and growth market buyers.