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Zijin Says China, Congo Will Probably Approve Deal (Update1)
May 12,2010 11:40CST
industry news

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Zijin Mining Group Co. said the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and China will probably approve its joint $284 million bid to buy copper mine developer Platmin Congo once a "misunderstanding" is resolved.

Approval from the Chinese government may come next month, though permission from Congo may be delayed, Vice Chairman Lan Fusheng told reporters today in Shanghai at a mining conference.

Zijin and state-backed China-Africa Development Fund said May 7 they agreed to jointly acquire Platmin Congo, which holds stakes in two copper-cobalt projects. The transaction is against the law, the chief of staff for the Congolese's minister of mining said May 9.

"I believe this will eventually receive approval from the Congo government because the project needs investment," Lan said. "Our project has no legal issue. There could be some misunderstanding on our plan."

Zijin shares rose 3.3 percent to HK$6.24 in Hong Kong at 10:17 a.m. local time.

According to an August 2009 decision by the Congolese government, it is prohibited for a partner in a joint mining venture in Congo to change the partnership or transfer shares before the commercial production phase, said Alexis Mikandji Penge, the chief of staff for the mining minister.

Gecamines, the Congolese state-owned mining company, has a 32 percent stake in both Platmin's projects.

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