COAL miner Xstrata is eying up Anglo American &ndash; owner of the world&rsquo;s biggest platinum producer &ndash; for a &pound;41bn marriage, City A.M. can confirm.<br /><br />A tie-up between the two titans would create one of the world&rsquo;s leading natural resources companies, and comes as a wave of consolidations sweeps over the mining industry. <br /><br />Xstrata is seeking a &ldquo;merger of equals,&rdquo; it said yesterday, without giving further details. Its market capitalisation is &pound;20bn, while Anglo is valued at &pound;21.3bn. The mining group&rsquo;s chief executive Mick Davies wrote to Anglo&rsquo;s board last week, proposing tie-up talks.<br /><br />&ldquo;A merger of these two world-class companies with complementary assets is highly compelling,&rdquo; Xstrata said yesterday. Anglo, whose major shareholder is the South African government, confirmed yesterday it had received a &ldquo;preliminary&rdquo; takeover approach. JP Morgan Cazenove and Deutsche Bank are advising Xstrata, while Goldman Sachs and UBS are advising Anglo.<br /><br />Switzerland-based Xstrata has seen Anglo as an attractive partner for several years, but talks of a marriage have resurfaced recently in the wake of recent deal between bigger rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. <br /><br />It is understood that Xstrata&rsquo;s 35 per cent shareholder Glencore, a commodities company, has given the tie-up the green light.<br /><br />Analysts say that the cost-cutting benefits mean the deal makes sense. But it is understood that Anglo, headed by embattled Cynthia Carroll, is cautious of the deal. <br /><br />&ldquo;Cynthia Carroll is under the cosh having made expensive acquisitions and many fund managers would like to see her go,&rdquo; said BGC Partners&rsquo; David Buik. &ldquo;This might be the opportunity for their wishes to come true,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />Nomura analyst Paul Cliff has said that a merger could result in cost synergies of $700m per year, or 2 per cent of combined operating costs.<br /><br />Miners worldwide are seeking to consolidate as they struggle against debt and surplus capacity in the downturn. Mergers allow the companies to cost-cut.