September 24, 2009 / 9:56 AM / 10 years ago

TIMELINE: Chinese investments in Australian resources

(Reuters) - Australia rejected a $400 million proposal on Thursday 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.

Australia was also set to reject a Chinese investment in an outback mining venture inside the vast Woomera missile testing range area, after defense officials on Thursday ruled the project threatened national security.

The move comes as Australia-Sino relations are strained over resources links, with resource-hungry China keen to extend its footprint in Australia’s mining sector.

Following is a timeline of proposed, successful and failed major Chinese investments in Australia in the past year:

Sept 24, 2009 - Australia rejects a $400 million proposal for Chinese state-owned China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co to acquire a 50.6 percent interest in miner Lynas Corp Ltd, owner of the world’s richest deposit of rare earths minerals. <ID:nSYU007273]

Sept 24, 2009 - Australia’s defense 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). Defense officials said the project, inside a vast weapons testing area, would not be compatible with operational and national security.

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.

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.

Aug 13, 2009 - Yanzhou Coal Mining Co (1171.HK) agrees to buy Australian coal miner Felix Resources Ltd FLX.AX for $2.9 billion.

June 17, 2009 - China’s Minmetals takes over most of the assets of Oz Minerals Ltd (OZL.AX) for about $1.4 billion.

June 5, 2009 - Global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) dumps plans for a $19.5 billion tie-up with China’s Chinalco, in the face of a shareholder revolt.

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.

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.

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.

February 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.

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.

Sept 16, 2008 - Sinosteel takes over Australian iron ore prospector Midwest Corp.

Source: Reuters

Writing by James Grubel in Canberra and Jijo Jacob, Bangalore Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Anshuman Daga

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