UPDATE 1-Zijin Mining to acquire stake in Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines

Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:24pm EDT
 
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(Recasts; Adds stock price move, analyst comment, background)

TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - China's Zijin Mining Group is set to buy a 9.9 percent stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd for about C$105 million ($83.77 million) and is in "detailed" talks on jointly developing Ivanhoe's copper project in central Africa, the two companies said on Monday.

Shares in Ivanhoe Mines, which is led by the mining financier Robert Friedland and also owns a large platinum deposit in South Africa and zinc assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo, soared 17 percent to C$1.14.

Zijin and Vancouver-based Ivanhoe have agreed to explore opportunities to collaborate on Ivanhoe's three projects, Friedland said.

"In particular, Ivanhoe and Zijin are in detailed, friendly discussions about the strategic co-development of our Kamoa copper discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Friedland said in the joint statement.

Under deal terms, Ivanhoe will issue roughly 76.8 million common shares to Zijin via a private placement at a price of C$1.36 per share.

Zijin is one of China's largest gold producers and second-largest mineral copper producer.

Zijin's chairman said earlier on Monday that it is in talks to buy gold and copper mining assets abroad and expects to finalize some acquisitions this year.

($1 = 1.2535 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Gunna Dickson)