UPDATE 1-Congo says Ivanhoe Mines' Kamoa deal should be suspended

Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:34pm EDT
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(Adds comment from statement by government, vow to reevaluate, context)

KINSHASA, June 16 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo said on Tuesday that Ivanhoe Mines' sale of a stake in the Kamoa copper mine to China's Zijin Mining should be suspended until concerns raised by the government can be resolved.

Vancouver-based Ivanhoe announced last month that it would sell a 49.5 percent stake in Ivanhoe subsidiary Kamoa Holding Ltd to China's Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd for $412 million.

Kamoa Holding Ltd currently owns 95 percent of the project in Congo's Katanga province.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the government, which holds a 5 percent stake in the Kamoa project, said Ivanhoe had promised it an additional 15 percent stake and expressed concern that the sale to Zijin would dilute its new shares.

"That last transaction should be suspended until the completion of the talks that the government has undertaken," mines minister Martin Kabwelulu and portfolio minister Louise Munga Mesozi said in a statement.

The government also vowed to reevaluate the Kamoa mine's legal status in Congo. (Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Joe Bavier, Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)