Australia grants copper mine sale approval

Updated: 2013-07-31 16:30


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Australia's Foreign Investment Board has approved China Molybdenum's 80 percent purchase bid for the Northparkes copper mine in New South Wales from Rio Tinto.

The approval removes a major obstacle for the $820 million acquisition.

Rio Tinto agreed to sell 80 percent of the Australian copper mine to the Chinese company on Monday.

The company is still waiting for the approval of China's Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission and its shareholders, the company said in a statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The company is planning to finance the deal by using its own funds, raising debt and other methods, it said.

It also will keep Northparkes' management team and employees to operate the mine and an underground training center.

Based on the 2012 output, Northparkes is Australia's fourth-largest copper mine. The Chinese company will be able to control an operation that provided 43,100 metric tons of mined copper for Rio Tinto in 2012.