Jinchuan beats Vale's offer for S African copper miner Metorex

Chinese and Brazilian miners are vying to control Johannesburg-listed copper miner Metorex after Chinese state-owned miner Jinchuan yesterday trumped a takeover bid from Brazilian mining giant Vale SA.

Jinchuan, China's biggest nickel producer has made an 8.90 rand ($1.32) a share or $1.4 billion rival offer for Democratic Republic of Congo-focussed Metorex, trumping a mid-April 7.35 rand a share or $1.32 billion offer from Vale.

Jinchuan, which has had a long-term offtake contract with Metorex, offer represents a 22 per cent premium to Vale's offer.

Metorex said that it has yet not yet approved Jinchuan's offer, but both companies said in a joint statement that the bid had the backing of shareholders representing 8 per cent of Metorex voting rights.

Metorex also said that it has notified Vale of the Jinchuan superior offer and Vale has eight business days to match or better the terms of the Jinchuan offer.

Metorex owns the Ruashi open-pit mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Chibuluma copper development in Zambia. It has an estimated reserve of 655,000 tons of copper and 88,000 tons of cobalt, with resource estimates of 4.7 million tons of copper and 330,000 tons of cobalt