China’s Minjar Gold has reportedly offered a bid of more than $1.3 billion for a 50% stake in the massive Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine.
Canadian firm Barrick Gold and US giant Newmont Mining each own half of the open pit mine, Australia’s largest-producing gold mine.
Barrick in July put its half of the project on the market, and several media sources have recently announced Minjar has significantly outbid other parties, with a reported offer of more than US$1 billion.
Other bidders are rumoured to include Newmont itself, along with Newcrest Mining and China’s Zijin Mining Group.
The news of a major Chinese player leading the bidding has added to the ongoing debate over foreign investment in major Australian assets.
But according to the ABC, local member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson MP, has encouraged the Foreign Investment Review board to give the foreign bid the green light.
Wilson reportedly told the ABC this week that as the Super Pit is already owned by foreign interests, the Chinese bid should not be interfered with.
“A lot of people don’t understand that many of these mines are already owned by foreign interests,” Wilson was quoted as saying.
“Quite frankly I don’t really mind whether its American, Australian or Chinese ownership, as long there is capital flowing into the industry.
“It’s a great vote of confidence in the Super Pit going forward, and those 1,080 jobs that the operation provides in the district are so important, and that capital injection is really going to give them a confidence booster for the future.”