Date
16 December 2017
A conveyor dumps iron ore at a PanAust mine north of the Laotian capital Vientiane. Photo: Bloomberg
A conveyor dumps iron ore at a PanAust mine north of the Laotian capital Vientiane. Photo: Bloomberg

Laos miner rejects Chinese state firm bid

China has offered more than US$1 billion for a gold and copper company in Laos that produces one-third of the tiny Southeast Asian country’s exports but the bid has been rejected.

PanAust Ltd. said the offer from Guangdong Rising Assets Management, which valued the Australia-listed company at A$1.46 billion (US$1.37 billion) is too low, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The state-backed Chinese company had been shown the books to encourage a higher bid.

PanAust owns two active mines in Laos producing copper, gold and silver that account for about 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the report said.

Laos, a poor landlocked nation hemmed in by China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, has been attracting more foreign investment, the report said.

China Minmetals Non-Ferrous Metals Co. bought the a gold-and-copper mine in the country in 2009 while Chinese developers have built residential and commercial buildings in Vientiane, the nation’s capital.

Guangdong Rising, which already owns 23 percent of PanAust, offered A$2.30 a share for the rest of the company.

PanAust is open to rival bids, chief executive Gary Stafford was quoted as saying.

The Australian company also has prospects in Chile and Papua New Guinea, where it agreed last year to buy Glencore Xstrata Plc.’s controlling stake in the Frieda River copper-and-gold project. Stafford said the Frieda River deal and other recent mine acquisitions indicated that Guangdong’s offer was too little.

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