Chinese approval for Zijin Mining Group’s purchase of Australia’s Indophil Resources has been delayed owing to the layers of government authorities it needs to go through.
Zijin’s vice-chairman Lan Fushengs says, “The Chinese approving procedure is very complicated. We have to get approval from the county-level government, and then seek approvals from the other levels one by one.”
He says he does not know when approval from China will be granted.
The Aus$545 million bid for Indophil, which owns a stake in South East Asia’s largest untapped copper and gold deposit at Tampakan on the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao, has been extended to July 9 from the original closing date of March 19.
Zijin also says 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.
Lan Fushengs says approval from the Chinese government may come shortly, though permission from Congo may be delayed.
Zijin, China’s largest gold producer, and state-backed China-Africa Development Fund said early last month that they agreed to jointly acquire Platmin Congo, which holds stakes in two copper-cobalt projects, a transaction later described by the chief of staff for the Congolese minister of mining as being against the law.
“I believe this will eventually receive approval from the Congo government because the project needs investment,” Lan Fushengs says. “Our project has no legal issue. There could be some misunderstanding on our plan.”
Chief of staff for the mining minister Alexis Mikandji Penge says that 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.
Congolese state-owned mining company Gecamines has a 32% stake in both Platmin’s projects.

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