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China firm announces hostile bid for Australia-listed miner at AU$830 mil.

SYDNEY -- A Chinese private equity firm on Tuesday announced a hostile takeover bid for Australia-listed Discovery Metals, valuing the copper miner at AU$830 million (US$857 million), Discovery said.

Shanghai-based Cathay Fortune Corp. said the offer, made with the China-Africa Development Fund, an investment fund specializing in Africa, “represents compelling and certain value at an attractive premium.”

The offer of AU$1.70 per share came “at a time when there is significant uncertainty over the current and expected cash costs and mine expansion plans of the Boseto Cooper Project” in Botswana, Cathay's founder and largest shareholder Yong Yu said in a statement posted on the Australian stock exchange.

Cathay Fortune already has a 13.78-percent stake in Discovery, an exploration and production company focused on assets in Botswana, including its 100 percent owned Boseto Copper Project.

The move is the latest attempt by a Chinese firm to buy stakes in Australia's mining firms that have sparked intense debate in the country over whether to allow Beijing's state entities to increase their control over its resources.

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