May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Zijin Mining Group Co., China's largest gold producer, extended the close of its takeover bid for Australia's Indophil Resources NL to July because Chinese regulatory approval is taking longer than expected.
The bid has been extended to July 9 from May 14, Indophil said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange today. Zijin remains "fully committed" to the transaction, Melbourne- based Indophil said. The original closing date was March 19.
Zijin in December agreed to buy Indophil Resources for A$545 million ($493 million) cash to gain a stake in Southeast Asia's largest untapped copper and gold deposit. Zijin said last month its stake in Indophil had dropped from March.
"We had to wait for government approval, which is taking longer than we had expected," Zhao Jugang, head of board secretary office at Zijin, said today by phone. He declined to comment on the approval process.
Zijin dropped 1.5 percent to close at HK$5.74 in Hong Kong trading. Indophil Resources rose 1.3 percent to A$1.18 in Sydney. Zijin had bid A$1.28 a share.
Indophil hosted a site visit at the Tampakan project last week for Chinese officials, and is "optimistic" the trip will help Zijin win the necessary approvals, the company said.
The Australian government approved the bid in January.