SYDNEY Oct 26 Australian gold miner Noble
Mineral Resources Ltd said on Friday it favoured a plan
by China's Zhongrun Resources Investment Corp to buy
a stake in the company over a rival offer from Resolute Mining
Noble said Zhongrun's A$85 million ($88 million) offer for a
42 percent stake in the company, made last month, continued to
be in the best interests of all shareholders.
"Noble has a number of fundamental concerns regarding the
unsolicited and incomplete proposal put forward by Resolute,"
Noble Managing Director, Wayne Norris said in a statement.
"It is of inferior value to Zhongrun's proposal, does not
provide the immediate funding certainty that the Zhongrun
proposal does, and would leave the Company highly geared by
Resolute on Thursday said it had reached agreement with some
Noble shareholders to acquire just under 20 percent of the
company in exchange for Resolute shares and offered Noble A$85
million in financing through two issues of convertible notes.
Noble, which wants the money to fund the ramp-up of its
Bibiani mine in Ghana to produce 150,000 ounces of gold a year
and pay down debt, is facing objections from some shareholders
who do not want their stakes diluted by Zhongrun.
Resolute' s agreement with some Noble shareholders involved
issuing one Resolute share for every 12 Noble shares, implying a
share price of A$0.15 per Noble share based on Thursday's close.
Norris said any delay in receiving Zhongrun's equity "may be
detrimental to Noble's ability to meet existing liabilities and
fund ongoing activities" and urged shareholders to vote in
favour of the plan at the company's annual meeting on Oct. 31.
($1 = 0.9649 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)