China Minmetals is likely to use its US$1.7 billion takeover of OZ Minerals as a platform for further acquisitions of Australian raw materials, Bloomberg reported, citing the CEO of OZ Minerals. "They want this as their offshore vehicle to grow their base metals business," Andrew Michelmore said. OZ Minerals, the world’s second-largest zinc mining company, agreed to the takeover by state-owned Minmetals on February 16, although there is speculation that the Australian government may block the deal. The government may hold an inquiry as early as next week regarding Aluminum Corp of China’s proposed US$19.5 billion investment in Rio Tinto. China has spent US$22 billion on commodity assets so far this year, following a 70% drop in metals and oil prices since July 2008. A total of US$14.5 billion, or 44%, of Australia’s mineral exports headed to China last year.