Miners' big bids rarely hit paydirt

Takeovers in the mining sector are littered with big bets and big losses. Mining CEOs may be good at digging up dirt, but not as good as picking up gems.

Most mining CEO’s are very bad at picking value in takeovers. The latest Newcrest-Lihir writedowns and a further Rio Tinto-Alcan writedown in NZ are reminders that mining company shareholders are usually best to sell when mining companies make big bids.

When we remind ourselves of a few past disasters we see that too many past mining CEO’s did not do their homework.

I believe that the next set of mining takeovers will come from people who are good managers rather than traditional miners. 

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