The private equity business model in general is to draw up a mandate and strategy, raise money from investors, seek out assets, create value and sell after a number of years WHEN funding from banks and shareholders dried up, struggling mining companies hoped that private equity would fill the gap. That hasn’t happened.Mick Davis’s X2 Resources, which raised US$5.6bn from various sources to invest in mining, has not made a single investment since it was formed in 2013.There are a few signs of interest. Magris Resources, launched in 2013 by former Barrick Gold Corp executive Aaron Regent, has bought a niobium mine in Quebec from Iamgold for $500m, and is rumoured to be one of the parties bidding for Glencore’s Lomas Bayas copper mine, but no deal has been concluded.Roger Agnelli, CEO of Vale until 2011, and Andre Esteves formed B&A Mineracao, which has acquired two assets, a phosphate mine in Brazil and copper prospect in Chile.Appian Natural Resources Fund, formed by former JPMorgan ...

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