Business / Companies

China's Hanlong to obtain major African iron mine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-29 10:40

CHENGDU -- Chinese mining firm Hanlong is expected to take over Australia's Sundance in February, the company disclosed, a move that will put it in control of a major iron ore mine in west Africa.

The acquisition will start on February 26 and end on March 1, 2013 after documents are submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, officials with the privately-held Hanlong Group said Friday.

Hanlong will pay A$0.45 per share to buy Sundance shares -- a price agreed upon in August 2012. The offer will save Hanlong 2 billion yuan ($315 million) for the deal, which was originally valued at A$1.7 billion ($1.76 billion).

Sundance controls the Mbalam Iron Ore Mine in Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. Hanlong executives have disclosed that the company is in talks with leading state firms to jointly develop the mine.

Hanlong is investing $5 billion to develop its first mining project in Mbalam, as well as build a 550-km railway and a shipping port. It is slated to start operating in 2014, the company officials said.

The Mbalam mine -- composed of the Mbarga fields in Cameroon and the Nabeba fields in the Republic of Congo -- holds 865 million to 925 million tons of iron ore, according to an initial estimate.

Observers say Hanlong's control of the Mbalam mine will give China greater influence in international iron ore pricing talks.

The Hanlong Group owns or has stakes in more than 30 firms with combined assets totalling 36 billion yuan. The group says its annual revenues are about 1.6 billion yuan.

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