Officials at Australia’s Sundance Resources Ltd. have terminated an agreement with Hanlong Mining Investment Ltd. under which the Chinese company would have acquired 100% of Sundance. “This will enable us to focus all our efforts with other parties which have expressed strong interest in the Mbalam-Nabeba project,” Chairman George Jones said of Sundance’s major iron ore asset in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a release.

Officials at Sundance, however, did not mention concerns over Hanlong’s previous $1.4 billion revised bid following the detention of CEO Liu Han by Chinese authorities amid a murder investigation. At the time, company officials said they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Instead, officials emphasized the positive news about Mbalam-Nabeba, located in Cameroon, over the last 18 months—having witnessed increases in probable ore reserves to 436.3 million metric tons (mt), up from 352.3 million mt. High-grade hematite resources, meanwhile, have surged to 775.4 million mt, up from 521.7 million mt.

In addition, Sundance officials have reported approval of environmental permits in Cameroon and for mine, port and railway infrastructure in the DRC. “The Mbalam-Nabeba project has been globally recognized and will unlock a new iron ore region in Africa,” added Jones.

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