Sept 24 (Reuters) - Australia was set to reject a Chinese investment in an outback mining venture inside the vast Woomera missile testing range area, after defence officials on Thursday ruled the project threatened national security. [ID:nSYD537945]
The move comes at a time when Australia-Sino relations are strained over resources links, with resource-hungry China keen to extend its footprint in Australia’s mining sector.
Australia is due to decide in October on a $400 million proposal for Chinese state-owned firm China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co (CNMC) to take a majority stake in miner Lynas Corp Ltd (LYC.AX), owner of the world’s richest deposit of rare earths metals. [ID:nSYD437440]
Following is a timeline of proposed, successful and failed major Chinese investments in Australia in the past year:
Sept 24, 2009 - Australia’s defence department opposes a proposed joint venture between Wugang Australia Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-owned Wuhan Iron and Steel 600005.SS, and Australia’s Western Plains Resources (WPG.AX). Defence officials said the project, inside a vast weapons testing area, would not be compatible with operational and national security. [ID:nSYD537945]
Sept 8, 2009 - Chinese state-owned power producer China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. Ltd agrees to a takeover bid for Australian uranium explorer Energy Metals (EME.AX).
Sept 8, 2009 - China Railways Materials Corp agrees to take 12 percent stake in FerrAus FRS.AX for A$12.6 million and help building rail infrastructure for iron ore exports.
Aug 28, 2009 - China’s biggest steelmaker, Baosteel, agrees to invest $240 million for a 15 percent stake in Australian iron ore explorer Aquila Resources AQA.AX. [ID:nSYD467487]
Aug 27, 2009 - Australian takeover target Nufarm Ltd (NUF.AX) says it is still holding talks with Sinochem Corp on the Chinese state firm’s takeover approach. [ID:nSYD478609]
Aug 13, 2009 - Yanzhou Coal Mining Co (1171.HK) agrees to buy Australian coal miner Felix Resources Ltd FLX.AX for $2.9 billion. [ID:nSYD362329]
June 17, 2009 - China’s Minmetals takes over most of the assets of Oz Minerals Ltd (OZL.AX) for about $1.4 billion. [ID:nSYU006710]
May 8, 2009 - The Australian government allows Chinese steel maker Anshan Iron and Steel Group (0347.HK) to triple its stake in iron ore miner Gindalbie Metals (GBG.AX) to 36.28 percent. [ID:nSYD316979]
May 1, 2009 - Chinese state-owned China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) agrees to take a majority stake in Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp for A$252 million ($186 million), subject to government approval. [ID:nSYD454967]
March 31, 2009 - China’s Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group lifts stake in Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX) to 17.3 percent for total A$645 million.
Feb. 5, 2009 - Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet (000060.SZ), China’s third-largest zinc producer, wins Australian government approval to acquire a controlling stake in zinc miner Perilya PEM.AX. [ID:nSYD204946]
Sept 22, 2008 - Australia allows state-owned trading firm Sinosteel to buy up to a 49.9 percent stake in iron ore prospector Murchison Metals Ltd MMX.AX. [ID:nSYD355992]
Sept 16, 2008 - Sinosteel takes over Australian iron ore prospector Midwest Corp. [ID:nSYD151236]
Source: Reuters (Writing by James Grubel in Canberra and Jijo Jacob, Bangalore Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Michael Urquhart)