Zijin Mining To Become China’s Largest Copper Company Through Indophil Takeover
Xstrata plc (LSE: XTA.L) has agreed to sell its 19.9% stake in Indophil Resources (ASX: IRN) (‘Indophil’) to China’s largest publicly listed gold miner, Zijin Mining Group (HKG: 2899) (‘Zijin’). At AU$1.28 per share the deal forms part of a larger offer from Zijin for the entire share capital of Indophil for a total consideration of AU$545 million. Upon completion Zijin will join Xstrata in the development of the Tampakan copper-gold project in the Philippines.
According to analysts following the deal, the Chinese gold miner will substantially increase its gold and copper reserves through the deal, to become the largest Chinese copper company. Indophil's only major asset is a 34.23% (plus options on a further 3.27%) stake in the Tampakan joint venture with Xstrata - the project is currently being managed by Xstrata's affiliate company, Sagittarius Mines Inc.
According to Xstrata, Zijin has the capacity to support the advancement of the project. "Zijin's offer for Indophil clearly demonstrates the attractiveness of the Tampakan project,” said Charlie Sartain, Chief Executive of Xstrata Copper, “A Feasibility Study is currently under way at Tampakan and is expected to be completed during the first half of 2010.”
The Tampakan project is located on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, approximately 65km north of General Santos City. In October Xstrata updated the Tampakan resource estimate, with the total estimated reserves containing 13.5 million tonnes of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold, the resource also contained estimated average grades for molybdenum of 70 parts per million (ppm).
Investors appear to have welcomed the news as Xstrata shares climbed more than 2% this morning in London, trading at £10.90 per share.
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