On September 4, 2018, Zijin Mining Group Co. (SSE: 601899; SEHK: 2899) (“Zijin”) a Chinese company which specializes in gold, copper, zinc and other mineral resource exploration and development, announced that it had made a friendly offer to buy Vancouver-based, Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NYSE: NSU; TSX: NSU) (“Nevsun”), a leading, diversified, mid-tier mining company, for approximately C$1.86 billion. Zijin’s offer of C$6.00 per share in cash for Nevsun, represents a premium of 26% more than the hostile take-over bid offer of C$4.75 per Nevsun share made on July 26, 2018 by Lundin Mining Corporation.
Nevsun holds significant interests, along with minority partner Freeport McMoRan Inc., in the high-grade Timok copper-gold Project in Serbia. Also, Nevsun, along with minority partner, ENAMCO (Eritrean National Mining Company), owns the open pit, producing, zinc-copper Bisha Mine in Eritrea. The Timok Project and related Serbian assets are seen as particularly strategic to Zijin, as the Government of Serbia announced last week that it had selected Zijin as its’ strategic partner in Serbia’s mining and smelting complex known as “RTB Bor”, where Zijin has agreed to invest US$1.46 billion.
Once closed, the Nevsun acquisition will add to a growing list of Zijin’s foreign investments and partnerships including with Barrick Gold Corporation’s Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.’s Kamoa-Kakula copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fasken advised Zijin with a team that included John Turner, Michael Boehm, Lei Huang, Brad Freelan, Janet Howard, Sarah Gingrich, Perry Feldman, Jon Holmstrom, Douglas New, Huy Do, Anthony Baldanza, Guy Giorno, Andrew House, Mitchell Thaw, Florind Polo, Russell Lindzon, Laura Konkel, Yufei Luo, Edward Guo, William DeJong, Jenna Ward, Matthew Wilkins, Kyle Cadieux, Ryan Kleinman, Melyssa Roedel, Blair Horn and Martin Ferreira Pinho.