Related News

Home » Business » Energy

Weapon test range foils China's OZ Minerals bid

AUSTRALIA has rejected a Chinese state-owned firm's US$1.7-billion bid for Australian miner OZ Minerals Ltd, citing national security, as one of its mines is close to a weapons-testing facility.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday that Australia would not approve the takeover by China Minmetals Corp unless it excluded OZ Minerals' prime Prominent Hill copper-gold mine, which is near the Woomera testing range in the Australian outback.

"The government has determined that Minmetals' proposal for OZ Minerals cannot be approved if it includes Prominent Hill," Swan said. "I have informed Minmetals of this decision."

Minmetals and OZ Minerals said they would look to revise the deal, needed to help ensure OZ Minerals can repay debts due as soon as Tuesday.

The decision could pave the way for larger rival BHP Billiton to make a bid for Prominent Hill.

"Australia does not have a discriminatory policy here," Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said yesterday during a visit to Beijing.

Swan said Minmetals continued to discuss the issue with the government's advisory body, the Foreign Investment Review Board, in relation to OZ Minerals' other businesses and assets.

The government is also considering a US$19.5-billion tie-up between Aluminum Corp of China, also known as Chinalco, and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Group, amid growing political unease in Canberra over selling key mining assets.

Resources analyst Matthew Whittall said it was difficult to draw conclusions from the OZ Minerals decision in relation to the Rio-Chinalco deal, which would be China's biggest single foreign investment, or another deal involving Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group. Fortescue has agreed to sell a 16.5-percent stake to China's Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group Co.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend