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TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Canadian mining explorer Augusta Resource Corp, target of a hostile takeover bid by HudBay Minerals Inc, said on Tuesday that it has moved up its annual meeting so investors can vote on the company's shareholder rights plan.
The company said it advanced the meeting to May 2 from May 9, ahead of the expiry of HudBay's offer, to allow Augusta shareholders to decide whether to cancel the company's shareholder rights plan or keep it in place.
Shareholder rights plans, often dubbed "poison pills," are designed to make hostile takeovers difficult or impossible.
Last week, HudBay extended the expiry of its offer to buy Augusta to May 5th.
HudBay wants to buy Augusta to gain control of its Rosemont project in Arizona, widely seen as one of the most promising copper projects in the United States.
Augusta Chief Executive Gil Clausen said in late March that nine parties have expressed interest in the company.
HudBay offered 0.315 of its shares for each Augusta share, which values the company at about C$387 million ($350 million) at current prices.
HudBay said 242,404 shares had been tendered as of March 13. Augusta has about 145.4 million shares outstanding. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Nick Zieminski)