Chinese said to eye Ivanhoe Mines stake

A report out on Thursday speculates that state-owned China National Gold may looking at picking up Ivanhoe Mines (TSE:IVN) assets in Africa or taking a direct stake in the Toronto-listed miner.

Ivanhoe, headed by legendary mining financier Robert Friedland, have projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and a flagship operation Platreef in South Africa.

China National Gold, walked away from acquiring African Barrick Gold for about $2.3 billion earlier this year and according to the Bloomberg report is also exploring gold and copper opportunities in Canada and Australia over and above Africa.

Ivanhoe Mines' Platreef mine located in South Africa's mining heartland outside Johannesburg boasts platinum group metals as well as nickel, copper and gold resources.

The company's Kamoa project in the DRC is billed as the world's largest undeveloped high-grade copper deposit.

Shares in Ivanhoe Mines, which debuted in a $300 million IPO as Ivanplats in October last year, have halved in value this year affording the Vancouver-based company a $1.4 billion market capitalization.

Image of Platreef exploration drilling courtesy Ivanhoe Mines