The Hong Kong-listed unit of China’s state-owned China Minmetals Group said Friday it had taken control of copper miner Anvil Mining Ltd, expanding its footprint in Africa.
Minmetals Resources Ltd’s purchase of more than 90 percent of Anvil shares at C$8 each ($7.7) is a key development in the Chinese company’s growth strategy, chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore said in a statement.
“Anvil is the first step in the expansion of MMR’s global footprint,” he said.
“This acquisition will add a pure copper play to our already diversified portfolio of base metals assets, and propel us further along our growth trajectory.”
The move highlights the willingness of Chinese firms to invest in risky regions as China seeks further resources to fuel its rapid economic growth.
Anvil’s Kinsevere mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo produced more than 16,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates in 2010, and has targeted a quadrupling of output.
The purchase of Anvil will add considerably to Minmetals’s copper portfolio, boosting reserves of the metal by about 75 percent and annual production by some 60,000 tonnes, executives said earlier.
Michelmore said Minmetals would exercise its right to compulsorily acquire the outstanding stock and delist Anvil from the Toronto and Australian exchanges.
Anvil announced that at Minmetals’ request all of its board members had resigned except for Darryll Castle. Michelmore had been appointed executive director and chief executive officer.
Minmetals is a major producer of zinc, and also mines copper, lead, gold and silver with operations in Australia, Laos, Africa, Asia and North America.
China has deepened links with resource-rich African nations over recent years as it looks to secure key commodities to feed its breakneck growth.