FIRB approves Meridian Chinese invesment

12/10/2009 - 14:07

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The Foreign Investment Review Board has given the greenlight to a $10.5 million investment by a Chinese company into Meridian Minerals, which will apply the funds to its Lennard Shelf zinc project in the Kimberley.

FIRB approves Meridian Chinese invesment

The Foreign Investment Review Board has given the greenlight to a $10.5 million investment by a Chinese company into Meridian Minerals, which will apply the funds to its Lennard Shelf zinc project in the Kimberley.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

Key points:

- NWME has received approval from FIRB for $10.5M investment

- Chinese government approvals for NWME investment well advanced

- NWME transaction approved by Meridian shareholders at recent GM

- Drilling programme at the Kapok and Kapok-West resources defined

- Drilling to commence as soon as final approval is received

- Acquisition of additional tenements to increase project area

Australian resources company Meridian Minerals Limited ('Meridian' or 'Company') (ASX: MII) today announces that it has been advised that the Foreign Investment Review Board ('FIRB') has approved the investment of $10.5M into Meridian by Northwest Nonferrous Australia Mining Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese company Northwest Mining and Geology Group Co. Ltd for Nonferrous Metals ('NWME'). NWME will subscribe to 131,250,000 ordinary shares at a share price of $0.08 ('Placement') to raise $10.5M.

Meridian Minerals Managing Director, Jeremy Read, said that the approval by FIRB of NWME's investment into Meridian was a very significant milestone for the company and extremely pleasing, given that some investments by Chinese companies into Australia have recently been rejected by FIRB.

"Getting the approval from FIRB of the NWME investment is a major milestone for Meridian and it now brings us very close to the completion of the overall transaction with NWME. We are looking forward to working closely with NWME," Mr Read said.

"The final step in the process is approval by the Chinese national government of the NWME investment and we understand that approval process is well advanced. As soon we have that final approval, we will commence our infill and extension drilling at the Kapok and Kapok-West resources on the Lennard shelf Project. All of our field preparations are now complete and we are ready to go with the drill programme."

Mr Sun Feng, Director General of NWME, said that "NWME is very pleased to have received FIRB approval. Upon receipt of Chinese Government approval, which is progressing well, we look forward to our investment being completed, which in turn will allow Meridian to commence its drilling programme."

At the Company's General Meeting on 5 October, Meridian shareholders approved the NWME acquisition together with the capacity for the Company to raise additional funding to progress the project in terms of exploration and/or plant infrastructure.

Kapok and Kapok-West Drill Programme Once final approval from the Chinese government is received, Meridian will commence a drill programme of infill and extension drilling at the Kapok and Kapok-West resources (Figure One). The goal of this drill programme will be to confirm the continuity and shape of the Kapok-West resource, which will be a key component of a feasibility study into the viability of recommencing mining on the Lennard Shelf Project.

Meridian is targeting the third quarter of 2010 to be able to decide whether or not to commit to the redevelopment of the Kapok mine and development of a new mining operation at Kapok West.

 

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