China’s largest metals trader, China Minmetals Corp, has offered US$1.7 billion for Australia’s OZ Minerals, the South China Morning Post reported. The deal marks the second large bid by a Chinese company for natural resources this month, following Chinalco’s offer to inject US$19.5 billion in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto last week. The deal was unanimously approved by OZ Minerals’ directors and is subject to regulatory approval in both China and Australia. OZ Minerals is attempting to sell off assets in Australia, Southeast Asia, North America and North Africa in order to meet a February 27 deadline to pay off a US$90.9 million loan. As of December the company had burned through US$649.2 million in cash in six months due to falling metal prices.
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