Mining industry might think Glasenberg is holding its precious golden ticket but merger is not necessarily a good idea

The mining industry and its investors are in a febrile state. There is real fear that their golden goose – China – is about to stop laying eggs

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The Independent Online

Can anything stop, or even slow, Ivan Glasenberg’s quest to dominate the world’s commodity markets?

Having gobbled up mining giant Xstrata, stomping over his friend Mick Davis in the process, the Glencore founder is now apparently turning his guns on Rio Tinto in what could turn into the world’s biggest mining merger.

His timing is impeccable. The mining industry and its investors are in a febrile state. There is real fear that their golden goose – China – is about to stop laying eggs. Its output is slowing, and commodity prices have fallen as a result.

Enter Mr Glasenberg, no doubt with promises of gaudy-looking cost savings displayed on pretty coloured Powerpoints.

The City is already swooning. A deal like that represents a golden ticket. The phone lines to Zug, Switzerland will be burning hot over the next few days as bankers, lawyers, accountants and PR people fall over themselves to get a piece of this pie. Everybody loves a deal.

The regulators might raise an eyebrow or two. But Mr Glasenberg has been here before. He convinced them last time and he’ll do it again.

The rather important question of whether the concentration of so much power over the mining and distribution of so many vital commodities is a good thing? If such a question were ever seriously asked, we wouldn’t be where we are.

The best we can hope for is that this deal – if it actually starts to gather momentum – collapses under its own weight.

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