SYDNEY – Zijin Mining Group launched a bid for Australian gold explorer Phoenix Gold on Monday, the Chinese company’s third planned acquisition of a foreign mining asset in less than a month.
Long-dormant M&A activity in Australia and other mining-intensive countries is showing signs of a rebirth, with Zijin the most acquisitive to date and with the deepest pockets.
“The company is open to opportunities around the world,” Zijin Executive Director and Vice President George Fang told Reuters. “It is a goal to find more gold or other assets.”
In May Zijin announced it was issuing shares to raise 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) for acquisitions. Before launching its A$47 million ($36.55 million) offer for Phoenix, it accumulated a 17.9 percent interest in the company.
Zijin, one of China’s largest gold mining companies, unveiled two acquisitions in May for more than $700 million, one in Papua New Guinea and one in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Zijin already mines gold next door to a Phoenix deposit after paying A$240 million for another Australian miner, Norton.
“Gold is our game,” Fang said. “Our team has the experience in gold mining.”
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