South Australian Premier Mike Rann wants to talk with Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan about his decision to block the sale of OZ Minerals’ $1.15 billion Promient Hill mine to Chinese-owned Minmetals.
Rann told journalists yesterday that he was disappointed by the Treasurer’s decision and he wanted an explanation from both Swan and the Resources Minister Martin Ferguson about “the implications of the decision for South Australia.”
“The South Australian Government remains hopeful that there will still be an acquisition of this very lucrative copper-gold mine, if not with Minmetals, then another buyer who is prepared to keep the mine operating and exploit this extraordinary resource to its full potential,” Rann said.
Last Friday Swan announced that Prominent Hill could not be part of a $2.6billion takeover deal between OZ Minerals and Minmetals on the grounds of ‘national security.’
Prominent Hill is located 650km northwest of Adelaide in the Woomera Prohibited Zone, halfway between the townships of Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs, in South Australia’s far north. The mine is about 160km southeast from the zone’s weapons testing range.
According to Swan, the testing range made a “unique and sensitive contribution to Australia’s national defence” and as such, had to be excluded from the takeover deal.
South Australia’s Chamber of Mines and Energy chief executive Jason Kuchel said China and India are the new sources of foreign investment and Australia has to evolve with its new trading partners and “not be precious”.