Copper could cripple Glencore's merger hopes

The tumbling copper price is putting Glencore's ambitions for a merger with Rio Tinto in doubt, and also pokes holes in the portfolio diversification strategies of the big miners.

If sustained, the implosion in the copper price has put paid to Glencore’s ambition of revisiting its proposed merger with Rio Tinto when London’s takeover rule handcuffs fall away in April. It also raises some uncomfortable question marks over the way the big end of the resource sector is structured.

The collapse in the copper price to its lowest levels in more than five years has smashed Glencore's share price, which has fallen about 18 per cent in the past fortnight.

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