China's Zhongrun to nab 42% stake in Australian gold producer Noble Mineral
China's Zhongrun Resources Investment Corp is on track to acquire 42% of Australia's Noble Mineral Resources (ASX:NMG) for AUD$85 million as well as options to obtain a majority stake.
Zhongrun's agreement to acquire Noble shares comes just as a jump in bullion prices in China has spurred a spate of acquisitions by Chinese companies of Australian and African gold miners, with Shandong Gold angling for a majority share in Focus Minerals (ASX:FML) and Zijin Mining taking over Norton Gold Fields (ASX:NGF).
Reuters reports that Noble Mineral intends to use the consideration to raise production of its Bibiani mine in Ghana to 150,000 ounces of gold per year, as well as pay off debt and expand resources.
Zhongrun will receive two sets of shares for AUD$0.16 and AUD0.18 via two different branches of the company, and will also receive options priced at AUD$0.23 a share which if exercised within a three year period will raise its stake in Noble Mineral to 51.6%.
Zhongrun is a billion dollar company with large stakes in several mining companies listed on the Toronto and London Stock Exchanges.
Noble Minerals shares surged around 33% in Thursday trading as of the early afternoon.