Metals X awaiting FIRB approvals

Australia’s largest tin producer, Metals X, is waiting for Federal Government consent to Chinese-firm APAC Resources taking an equity stake in the miner.

Australia’s largest tin producer, Metals X, is waiting for Federal Government consent to Chinese-firm APAC Resources taking an equity stake in the miner.

Metal X shareholders yesterday approved the transaction at the company’s annual general meeting in Perth.

The company anticipates “that Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval will be obtained shortly.”

The placement, consisting of 178 million ordinary shares at nine cents each, is expected to raise more than $16 million.

Following the deal, APAC will hold approximately 15% of the miner.

Metals X is also waiting for FIRB approval on a Heads of Agreement (HoA) joint venture with Yunnan Tin Group (YTG).

The joint venture will be formed to advance Metals X’s tin interests in Tasmania.

Under the agreement, Metals X will sell up to 60% of its subsidiary Bluestone Mines Tasmania for $60 million.

The agreement is conditional upon approvals; however both miners have extended the HoA to 31 January 2010 to enable enough time to gain FIRB consent.

YTG has agreed to a break fee of $2.5 million if it withdraws from the joint venture for any reason other than not obtaining Government approvals.

In July this year the Metals X board also signed a heads of agreement with Yunnan Tin Group to sell 60% of its Tasmanian tin holdings to the Chinese company for up to $60 million and joint venture status.

According to managing director Warren Hallam, Metals X has a cash reserve of up to $100 million and will be on the look out for further acquisitions.

“We will pursue assets that we understand and that we know will complement our skills and which will complement our portfolio,” he said.

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