Mick Davis (pictured), the former chief executive officer of Xstrata Plc, is seeking to raise at least $3 billion from investors before he starts buying mines for his X2 Resources, according to people with knowledge of his plans.

Davis, who has so far raised $1 billion, is targeting mines already in operation or close to producing, said the people, asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Davis may initially limit the number of investors in X2 to six or seven, with each providing $500 million, they said.

The South African born 55-year-old is looking to repeat his success at Xstrata, where he led the management team that took the coal producer from a company with a $500 million market capitalization to one valued at $50 billion through a decade of mergers, acquisitions and expansion. Davis favors copper, coal or zinc assets for X2, the people said.

X2 could target deals valued at $12 billion to $15 billion after raising debt on top of the funds it gets directly from investors, the people said. Davis declined to comment.

Noble Group, Asia’s largest raw-materials trader, and private-equity fund TPG last year agreed to invest a combined $1 billion in X2. Australian private equity fund IFM Investors plans to invest $500 million in X2, the people said. The Australian Financial Review first reported a possible investment by IFM earlier this month.

X2 is poised to bet on a resurgence in demand for key commodities, competing with other private-equity funds for first choice from assets put on the market by global mining companies. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group are among companies making or planning disposals that may total a combined $35 billion, Deutsche Bank AG has estimated.


Glencore Takeover


Davis and former Xstrata Chief Financial Officer Trevor Reid, 53, together founded X2, which is run from London. The two left Xstrata after Glencore International Plc last year completed its $29 billion all-share takeover of the Zug, Switzerland-based company. Davis plans to keep his new venture private and may consider selling once it grows enough to return value to its investors, according to the people.

Davis left as CEO of Glencore Xstrata in May, opting not to stay in the role for six months after the takeover, as had been planned. Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg, 57, became CEO.

Barrick Gold Corp.’s former CEO Aaron Regent and former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Lloyd Pengilly are among those raking through mining assets put up for sale by global resources companies.

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