CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Congo says Ivanhoe Mines' Kamoa deal should be suspended (June 16)

Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:12pm EDT
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(Corrects 4th paragraph of June 16 story to say Kamoa's 15 pct stake sale to Congo will entail a cut in Zijin's share in the mine; removes reference about sale to Zijin diluting Congo's new shares)

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, which it said would entail a reduction of Zijin's share in the mine.

"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)