MELBOURNE, June 19 (Reuters) - Australian tycoon Clive Palmer has tentatively lined up Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to finance a $3.9 billion iron ore project in Western Australia, his company, Australasian Resources, said on Tuesday.
Australasian, 68 percent owned by Palmer, said it had received a non-binding letter of interest from ICBC to finance the Balmoral South magnetite iron ore project, located 80 km (50 miles) southwest of the town of Karratha on the Indian Ocean.
The firm holds rights to mine 1 billion tonnes of magnetite ore from which it plans to produce 12 million tones per year of high grade iron concentrate and pellets for 25 years.
Australasian's thinly traded shares jumped 8.3 percent to A$0.13, to value the company at A$60 million after the announcement.
Australasian has tapped Metallurgical Corp of China to handle engineering, procurement and construction management for the project and help it secure 75 percent of the financing for the mine from Chinese banks.
The company appointed U.S. investment bank Jefferies & Co earlier this month to help it raise $1.4 billion through the sale of a high yield bond.
Palmer, a maverick willing to take on everyone from the Australian government to the vaunted head of Australia's soccer federation, recently announced plans to build an "unsinkable" version of the Titanic. ($1 = 0.9912 Australian dollars)