Copper team SolGold has strengthened its defences against a takeover, appointing Citi for guidance and fundraising as huge rivals attention acquisitions amid the global economic depression due to coronavirus.

The London-listed explorer is a prime target as a result of the potential of the undeveloped copper and gold task in northern Ecuador, men and women familiar with the company said.

final month SolGold stated it absolutely was in foretells secure the $2.85bn it needs to develop the Alpala project in Ecuador, including an instantaneous $150m for a definitive feasibility research associated with the task. The business states the mine will begin production in 2025.

Citi was hired to support the fundraising as well as behave as a defence agent, people acquainted with the organization stated.

Were creating a company thats as crucial that you the introduction of Ecuador as BHP would be to Australia. I think that is simply just starting to sink into the globes majors and financiers, stated Nick Mather, SolGold chief executive.

The worlds biggest mining businesses are all shopping for opportunities to expand in copper due to the used in clean energy technologies including wind generators and electric vehicles.

BHP, the worlds largest miner, is SolGolds top shareholder but under a standstill contract is fixed from buying new stocks and going beyond its 15 % risk until October unless there is another bidder.

In February BHPs new chief executive Mike Henry said the miner required even more future-facing metals such copper. A month later BHPs president Ken Mackenzie stated the business was at a very good place to create acquisitions if there have been opportunities due to coronavirus.

Im uncertain if there will be any possibilities that'll result from this, but if there are, we have been really able to act, Mr Mackenzie said, relating to Reuters.

stocks in SolGold have dropped 48 % over the past year, giving it an industry capitalisation of 381m. That compares with a 30 % fall for the FTSE 350 Mining index.

Copper prices have actually declined 16 % this present year to trade at $5,211 a tonne because of a failure sought after due to the spread of coronavirus.

BHP and Citi declined to comment. Australian rival Newcrest Mining, SolGolds second-largest shareholder, didn't react to a request for comment.

On April 17 SolGold stated it had obtained material offers for investment from international commodity traders and smelters in return for assured supplies of steel concentrate from the Ecuador mine once it begins creating.

Offers included the supply of both temporary and longer-term money with proceeds available for studies, mine construction and cost overruns and working-capital during ramp-up, it said.