Hanlong courts Chinese steel majors to help develop African iron ore project

China's Hanlong Group has approached Hebei Iron & Steel and Wuhan Iron & Steel about investing in the $4.7 billion Mbalam iron ore project in central Africa, which Hanlong is set to acquire through its takeover of Australia's Sundance Resources, a company official said Thursday.

The Hanlong official confirmed the company had spoken to the Chinese steel giants about helping to develop Mbalam, which straddles the border between the Republic of Congo and Cameroon, and requires significant new mine, port and rail infrastructure. It is expected to eventually produce 35 million mt/year of direct shipping ore.

But Hanlong has to firstly complete the A$1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) acquisition of Western Australia-based Sundance, a deal which is being funded by China Development Bank.

Sundance head of investor relations Jill Thomas would not comment specifically on the prospective involvement of the Chinese mills, other than to say it was "a matter for Hanlong."


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