by Xinhua Writers Jiang Xufeng and Xu Xingtang
BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhua) -- China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co., Ltd. (CMN)'s acquisition deal with Australian miner OZ Minerals Ltd. won OZ's shareholders' approval Thursday, CMN's parent China Minmetals Corp. told Xinhua.
Zhou Zhongshu, China Minmetals Corp. president, said: "This was a landmark for China Minmetals which could better develop its business in Australia, and it will also contribute to local economic development, employment and tax revenues."
CMN raised its offer for acquisition of OZ's assets by 180 million U.S. dollars to 1.386 billion U.S. dollars, reflecting higher domestic and international metal prices.
The two sides would finalize the deal within a week, according to Beijing-based China Minmetals Corp.
China Minmetals Corp. would register and establish a wholly-owned subsidiary in Australia, Minerals and Mining Group Ltd.(MMG), to manage the assets.
"The talented people at OZ Minerals were another factor appealing to us. Most of the OZ employees working for the purchased assets would join MMG, which would facilitate China Minmetals' going-global strategy," Zhou said.
OZ Minerals is the world's second-largest producer of zinc. It also produces copper, gold, lead and silver.
Shareholders of the Australian mining giant gave the green light to the agreement to sell its mining projects (Sepon, Golden Grove, Century, Rosebery, Avebury, Dugald River, High Lake and Izok Lake) and other mining assets under exploration to CMN.
Founded in 1950, China Minmetals Corp. is a large state-owned group that specializes in producing and trading metals and minerals. It also has financial, real estate and logistics operations.
Its revenues stood at 27.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, up 28 percent from 2007.
OZ Minerals shareholders approved the deal less than a week after Australian mining titan Rio Tinto scrapped a proposed 19.5 billion U.S. dollar investment by Chinalco, China's top aluminum producer, and forged a joint venture with BHP Billiton.