Murchison Metals in trading halt over Oakajee buyer

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Murchison Metals is in a trading halt amid speculation it is in talks to sell its 50 per cent share in the troubled $5.9 billion Oakajee Port and Rail and Jack Hills iron ore mine.

After previously signalling it does not have the finance to fund its share of the project, Murchison has been on the lookout for buyers.

The company said it would make an announcement about a potential transaction after its negotiations, but has not indicated who it’s in talks with.

China-backed Gindalbie Metals was previously thought to be eyeing the project but Business Spectator reports the chances of its participation are fading.

According to ABC News resources analyst Peter Strachan is tipping Murchison’s Oakajee joint venture partner Mitsubishi as the likely buyer.

“They would certainly have front running as they would understand all of the numbers and I think the Japanese partners there are quite keen to secure iron ore for the long-term future of their steel making activities in Japan,” he said.

Other reports have pointed to China Investment Corporation as a potential buyer.

Earlier in the year Murchison co-founder Paul Kopejtka quit from the company’s board after being axed from his role as executive chairman.

Image: ABC News

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