Thursday, 9 April 2015

Biggest Indian Jewellery Maker Looks to Spend $700m on Aussie Goldminers

A story reported by Dave Pierce, initially published at the Australian Financial Review.

Rajesh Metha of Rajesh Exports is India's largest jewellery manufacturer with a $1.2bn market cap in Bombay, vertically integrated through mining, refining, manufacturing and retailing.

The company consumes 140T of gold pa, around 15% of Indian imports, and has apparently decided gold miners are cheap enough, now looking to spend $700m in Australia where annual gold production is around 280T pa. The timing seems a little odd following a number of disposals by the majors whereby Northern Star has emerged as a significant force.
Linked are some of Australia's biggest gold miners
Mr Mehta would not name the Australian mines nor companies that he was looking at, but said talks with advisers had begun. "We have met a lot of investment bankers here and we are evaluating the best way to get in, what is the best way to do it, as we are looking at not only taking interest in the gold mining sector but we are also looking at forging a relationship with the largest gold-producing mines to buy and ensure supply from them," he said. "We can be a good consuming partner for them." The comments follow recent momentum towards a free trade agreement between Australia and India, and last year's visit to Australia by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also comes after two years of regular deal-making in the Australian gold industry, as  several foreign gold miners have sold assets to try to reduce their exposure to Australia.

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