Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 December 2010 – Australian-based and listed Riversdale Mining Limited “’ a company focused on developing as a diversified mining finance house with Southern African interests “’ has declined to comment on a report in the Australian Financial Review that it may be in talks with another group.
A spokesman for the company said in an e-mail here that it remained in previously announced discussions with Wuhan Iron & Steel Group. The newspaper had reported that Riversdale might be in talks with Anglo American plc or Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, but did not cite a source.
Earlier this week, Rio Tinto Limited signalled that it was back on the acquisition trail, after Riversdale confirmed that the global miner had made an indicative US$3.5 billion takeover offer.
Revealing this development in a letter to the Australian Securities Exchange, Riversdale confirmed that Rio Tinto had made a US$15 a share indicative offer. If successful, it would mark the first major acquisition for Rio Tinto since its ill-timed US$38.1 billion takeover of Alcan in 2007 at the height of the commodities boom.
Riversdale said it was in confidential talks with Rio Tinto, but wasn’t in a position to submit a proposal for the potential acquisition. “The company has had discussions with Rio Tinto concerning a possible transaction at the corporate level for indicative consideration of US$15 per Riversdale share,” Riversdale said.
While discussions with Rio Tinto were ongoing, there was no certainty that Rio Tinto or any other party would proceed with any proposal for the acquisition of Riversdale, it added.
Riversdale is 22% owned by India’s Tata Steel, which also has a 35% stake in its Benga coal project in Mozambique. Benga is projected to produce 20Mtpa of coal by 2013. Riversdale owns another major project in Mozambique and controls the Zululand Anthracite operation in South Africa.