CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Ivanhoe Mines reaffirms plan to sell copper project stake to Congo

Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:40pm EDT
 
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(Corrects 1st and 4th paragraphs to say 15 pct stake sale in Kamoa to Congo will entail a cut in Zijin's share in the project and removes reference about sale to Zijin diluting Congo's new shares)

June 17 (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Mines Ltd reaffirmed its plans to sell a further 15 percent stake in the Kamoa Copper Project to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a day after the government expressed concern that the stake sale could entail a reduction of a Chinese company's share in the project.

The Congolese government already owns a 5 percent stake in the project.

Vancouver-based Ivanhoe said last month that it would sell a 49.5 percent stake in the project's holding company to China's Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd for $412 million.

However, the Congolese government on Tuesday expressed concern that the sale of an additional 15 percent stake in Kamoa to the government could dilute Zijin's share in the project and called for a suspension of the sale to Zijin until its concerns were resolved.

The government also vowed to review the Kamoa mine's legal status in Congo.

Ivanhoe said on Wednesday that it did not believe a due diligence review of the project was warranted and that it had obtained legal advice confirming that no consent to the transaction with Zijin was required under Congolese law.

Ivanhoe's shares were down marginally at 97 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)