Australia-based Indophil Resources announced on December 1, 2009, that it had agreed to a takeover offer from Zijin Mining Group, China’s largest gold producer and third largest copper producer.
Indophil’s primary asset is its 34.23% interest in the huge Tampakan copper-gold project on Mindanao Island in the Philippines. Xstrata is 62.5% owner and operator of the project.
Indophil also reported that it is acquiring the 3.27% interest in the Tampakan project held by the Philippine firm Alsons Corp., so when all transactions are complete, Zijin Mining will hold a 37.5% interest in the project.
The Zijin offer valued Indophil at about A$545 million and remained subject to a condition of 90% minimum acceptance from Indophil shareholders and obtaining regulatory approvals. Indophil chairman Brian Phillips said the decision to accept the Zijin offer followed a review process that considered a range of proposals from interested parties. Indophil’s board unanimously recommended the offer to the company’s shareholders.
Xstrata, which owns 19.9% of Indophil, announced that it would sell its shares to Zijin, and Xstrata Copper Chief Executive, Charlie Sartain, said, “Zijin’s offer for Indophil clearly demonstrates the attractiveness of the Tampakan project. Xstrata welcomes the introduction of a joint venture partner with the capacity to support the advancement of the project.”
Tampakan’s measured and indicated resources currently stand at 2.4 billion mt, grading 0.6% copper at a 0.3% copper cut-off grade. Contained copper is estimated at 13.5 million mt, and contained gold is estimated at 15.2 million oz.
A $74-million feasibility study of the project is currently being developed and is scheduled for completion during the first half of 2010. The study contemplates production of 340,000 mt/y of copper and 350,000 oz/y of gold over an initial 20-year operating period. Operating costs are estimated at $0.46/lb of copper produced after gold credits. Initial production is slated for early 2016.