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Australia's Sundance: China approves Hanlong deal
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Aug 2, 2012


Australia's Sundance Resources Thursday said regulators in Beijing have given the go-ahead to a proposed Aus$1.65 billion (US$1.65 billion) takever by Chinese suitor Sichuan Hanlong Group.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange, the iron ore explorer said China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had stipulated a number of conditions.

They include a reasonable acquisition price and Hanlong, which already holds about 18 percent of Sundance shares, securing equity and debt funding from relevant banks.

Sundance shares have been suspended this week amid reports that Hanlong had lowered its offer and the companies said they were in discussions about the "reasonable acquisition price".

Hanlong wants Sundance for its Mbalam iron ore project on the border of the Congo and Cameroon in western Africa.

"The NDRC decision is encouraging news for the people of the Republic of Cameroon and Republic of Congo, who stand to benefit enormously from the development of the Mbalam project," said Sundance chairman George Jones.

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board said it had no objection to the proposed acquisition in June.

The approval came despite several former Hanlong executives being probed by Australia's corporate watchdog on claims of insider dealing related to the deal for Sundance, as well as uranium explorer Bannerman.

On Tuesday, a former vice president of Hanlong Mining Calvin Zhu pleaded guilty in an Australian court to three charges of insider trading, some of them relating to his time at the Chinese company.

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