(Updates with Zambian company comment in second paragraph.)
June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Zambia’s state-controlled mining company agreed to sell its 2.28 percent stake in Equinox Minerals Ltd. to Barrick Gold Corp. for more than $160 million, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings Plc said.
“After due consideration and consultation, the board of ZCCM-IH has accepted the offer,” from Barrick, it said in a statement published in the Lusaka-based Times of Zambia today.
The offer presented an opportunity for the Zambian company to “realize value from its investment” in Equinox, including an indirect stake in Jabal Sayid copper and gold project in Saudi Arabia, ZCCM-IH said. The company bought the shares in Equinox for $30 million in 2006, it said.
Barrick, the world’s largest producer of gold, said yesterday Zambia granted unconditional approval of its C$7.3 billion takeover of Equinox and the copper producer’s Lumwana mine in the southern African country. The condition that Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines keep the stake in Equinox was removed, according to Andy Lloyd, a spokesman for Barrick in Toronto.
Zambia’s antitrust body gave conditional approval for the takeover on May 27. Barrick should also honor existing agreements with a local smelter and suppliers, the Competition Commission said. Zambia is Africa’s biggest copper producer.
--Editors: Gordon Bell, Antony Sguazzin
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