Chinese gi­ant swal­lows Tal­bot’s stake in Sun­dance Re­sources

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

A DI VI S I ON of one of China’s largest pri­vate com­pa­nies has emerged as the big­gest share­holder in Sun­dance Re­sources Ltd af­ter buy­ing the late Ken Tal­bot’s stake.

Tal­bot Group, Mr Tal­bot’s in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle, on Fri­day sold its 15.95 per cent stake – 433.79 mil­lion shares – in the Africa-fo­cused iron ore ex­plorer to Han­long Min­ing.

The trans­ac­tion was priced at 44c each, re­al­is­ing $ 19.08 mil­lion for the group.

Com­bined with Han­long Min­ing’s ex­ist­ing stake in Sun­dance of 8 1 mil­lion shares, the Chinese firm now has a 19 per cent in­ter­est in Sun­dance.

Mr Tal­bot was among six Sun­dance ex­ec­u­tives killed last year in a plane crash en route to the Perth-based com­pany’s Mbalam iron ore pro­ject strad­dling the re­publics of Congo and Cameroon.

Han­long Min­ing is a part of in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate Sichuan Han­long Group, which op­er­ates across many in­dus­try sec­tors in China, in­clud­ing min­ing, en­ergy, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, high tech­nol­ogy, food and bev­er­age, in­dus­trial chem­i­cals, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­opme n t , tourism de­vel­op­ment and real es­tate.

Han­long Min­ing al­ready has a 56.8 per cent stake in Perth-based iron ore miner and molyb­de­num ex­plorer Moly Mines Ltd, and last year un­veiled plans to ag­gres­sively hunt for ac­qui­si­tions in Aus­tralia in a bid to be­come ‘‘ the fourth force in iron ore’’.

Han­long Min­ing chair­man and head of iron ore Peter Mansell said the in­vest­ment was con­sis­tent with the com­pany’s strat­egy to be a sig­nif­i­cant in­vestor in qual­ity iron ore projects.

‘‘ We’re a fi­nan­cial in­vestor and will be a sup­port­ive share­holder as­sist­ing the com­pany to fast-track its in­fra­struc­ture and mine de­vel­op­ment plans,’’ Mr Mansell, for­mer chair­man of West Aus­tralian News­pa­pers Hold­ings Ltd, said yes­ter­day.

Sun­dance chair­man Ge­orge Jones said Han­long Min­ing re­garded the iron ore ex­plorer as an at­trac­tive long-term in­vest­ment.

‘‘ We per­ceive their in­vest­ment pos­i­tively,’’ Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones re­it­er­ated Sun­dance’s plan to get Mbalam into pro­duc­tion in the next four years and said the in­vest­ment by Mr Tal­bot had been the foun­da­tion to Sun­dance’s suc­cess dur­ing the past four years.

Mr Tal­bot made a for­tune found­ing Macarthur Coal Ltd and be­queathed onethird of his es­ti­mated $ 960 mil­lion for­tune to char­ity.

The share sale to Han­long has sparked spec­u­la­tion Tal­bot Group may sell its 13.08 per cent in­ter­est in oil and gas ex­plorer Ka­roon Gas Aus­tralia Ltd.

Tal­bot Group also has sub­stan­tial in­ter­ests in ju­nior min­er­als ex­plor­ers Ro­bust Re­sources Ltd and In­ves­ti­ga­tor Re­sources Ltd.

Shares in Sun­dance closed down 2c, or 4.08 per cent, at 47c yes­ter­day.

The late Ken Tal­bot

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