Indophil-Zijin merger terminated, Tampakan stake up for sale

25th June 2010 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian explorer Indophil Resources’ 37,5% stake in the $5,2-billion Tampakan copper/gold project, in the Philippines, is back on the market, after Zijin Mining terminated a A$545-million takeover offer.

In November, the Chinese company launched a A$1,28 a share offer for Indophil, but the takeover agreement has been delayed by several months, as Zijin struggled to obtain Chinese provincial approval for the deal.

The companies said on Friday that they had terminated the agreement, as no clear timeframe had been forthcoming.

“This is very disappointing, and a decision that was not made easily by either party,” said Indophil CEO Richard Laufmann.

“Termination of the implementation agreement, effective immediately, frees Indophil of any exclusivity provisions and break fees,” he added.

Laufmann said Indophil was reviewing its options regarding its stake in Tampakan and that it would open or re-open dialogue with interested parties.

“Given the world-class nature of the Tampakan deposit, Indophil is very confident that there is considerable interest around the globe in acquiring the company’s interest in Tampakan.”

Xstrata owns the controlling 62,5% stake in the Tampakan project, which recently made headlines when the Philippines government announced that it might place a ban on openpit mining.

Laufmann said that the ever increasing global appetite for copper and gold would not be met by the known supply.

“The Tampakan project, clearly a flagship project, has been off the market and locked into an exclusive transaction since December 2009. This new and defining development of termination of the Indophil-Zijin offer has now freed Indophil to reconsider its opportunities.”

A recently submitted final feasibility study has confirmed the Tampakan project as one of the largest and most significant undeveloped copper projects in the world, Laufmann added.

The Tampakan project contains a measured, indicated and inferred resource estimate of 2,4-billion tons at 0,6% copper and 0,2 g/t gold, for 13,5-million tons of copper and 15,8-million ounces of gold.