Altona Mining is a step closer to the development of a major new copper mine at its Cloncurry Project after a Chinese regulator approved its joint venture deal with Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG).
Altona told the ASX Monday it had been advised by SRIG the Chinese government-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of China’s Sichuan Province (“SASAC”) has given SRIG approval to proceed with a joint venture with Altona.
The joint venture company intends to to develop a seven million tonne a year mine and processing plant for an annual production of 39,000 tonnes copper and 17,000 ounces gold over an initial mine life of 13 years.
The joint venture will own 100% of the Cloncurry Project and on closing the deal SRIG will make a cash contribution of US$213.53 million to own two-thirds of the JV while Altona will contribute US$25 million to own the other third.
The deal still has to go through more Chinese and Australian regulatory hurdles.
SRIG now requires Sichuan Provincial Government approval as well as approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board to close the transaction.
Altona's conditions precedent to closing are to obtain all necessary third party consents to transfer ownership of mining licences to the joint venture and to have completed that transfer by closing.
Altona’s Managing Director Dr Alistair Cowden says they have obtained the majority of these consents.
“We are delighted that SASAC has approved the transaction with SRIG,” Dr Cowden said.
“This marks a major milestone for the transaction and we look forward to close of the transaction.”
The Cloncurry Copper Project is located 65 kilometres north-west of Cloncurry and 90 km north-east of Mount Isa wholly within the Cloncurry Shire.