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NDRC OKs Minmetals to buy Oz Minerals

CHINA'S economic planning agency has agreed to the proposed US$1.2-billion acquisition of Oz Minerals by China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co, one of several required approvals, the Australian company said yesterday.

The approval by the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing follows a nod from Australia's Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

In a statement, Oz Minerals said Minmetals told it that it had gotten binding commitments from its financiers to allow the deal to go through.

The companies expect to get further needed Chinese approvals, from the Ministry of Commerce, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, before Oz Minerals' annual shareholders meeting on June 11, the statement said.

"While several further Chinese regulatory approvals are required, we are aware of the significance of the NDRC approval that Minmetals has advised us of today." said Barry Cusack, Oz Minerals' chairman.

The deal adds to a string of foreign acquisitions by China's cash-rich metals and energy producers.


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