Chinese resources company, Hanlong Group, will have a greater say in global iron ore prices in 2013 as the firm completes the buy-in process of the Mbalam iron ore mine in Africa from Australian miner Sundance Resources (ASX: SDL).
A year after it first announced it wants to acquire Australia's Sundance Resources Ltd., China's Sichuan Hanlong Group's pronouncements still remain at that - a statement - that industry observers question if it will ever push through at all.
The buy-in is worth $1.45 billion, the amount cited by Sundance as the revised takeover offer from Hanlong due to weaker prices of the commodity in the world market, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.
The Mbalam iron ore mine is at the border of Cameroon and Congo. It holds an estimated 865 million to 925 million tonnes of iron ore.
The acquisition process is expected to begin Feb 26 and end March 1 upon submission of relevant documents to Australian authorities.
Sundance suffered from major changes in the last two years after a plane crash near the Mbalam project killed the company's entire board in June 2010. A new board was appointed in mid-2012 before Hanlong made its first bid.
Prior to the sale, Hanlong has a 14 per cent stake in Sundance. The Chinese resources firm has been on an aggressive acquisition mode at the start of December when it made a major step to seal a ￡9.5-billion takeover of Nexen, a Canadian firm, into North Sea oil and gas production.
Hanlong has combined assets of $5.7 billion spread in more than 30 companies. With the buy-in, Hanlong is seeking partnerships with state-owned Chinese companies to develop the Mbalam venture and build a 550-kilometre railway and shipping port facility in the mine area.
Hanlong expects mining operations in Mbalam to start in 2014.
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