EPI targets 4 mine deals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am

Nonferrous metals producer and trader EPI Holdings hopes to conclude four metals mining investments this year, including a copper project in the Philippines, with joint-venture partner Jiangxi Copper.

The Philippine mine has copper reserves of not less than 6 million tonnes and is owned by a listed firm, EPI chairman and chief executive Joseph Wong Chi-wing said.

'We're in talks to buy a strategic stake or even take over the listed firm to get the mine,' Mr Wong said.

He said EPI was likely to take a 20 per cent to 30 per cent stake in the listed firm while Jiangxi Copper would get a larger slice. He did not reveal the market on which the target firm was trading or the transaction size, but he hoped the deal would be completed in the next three months.

EPI is also hoping to secure a deal on an iron mine and zinc mine investment on the mainland in the next three months. The iron ore mine belongs to a state-owned firm and has reserves of 100 million to 200 million tonnes. EPI wants to buy 30 per cent to 40 per cent, Mr Wong said.

The zinc mine had reserves of not less than 1 million tonnes and EPI planned to take a stake of more than 50 per cent, he said.

Mr Wong said EPI could raise funds from various sources including bank borrowings, bond issuance or share placements.

He said he was confident that a long-awaited joint-venture agreement with Daye Nonferrous Metal would be concluded later this year.