China's Hanlong Mining appears set to miss the latest deadline in its drawn-out takeover bid for Sundance Resources, with the Australian iron ore hopeful calling a trading halt ahead of a January 31 deadline for Hanlong to provide details of its financing for the bid.
Hanlong last delayed the transaction's close last month, after the China Development Bank demanded time to review mining agreements between the company and the Cameroon and Congo governments before signing off on its $US1 billion ($960 million) backing of Hanlong's offer.
Since them rumours emerged, first reported in the Chinese media, that Hanlong was seeking bring in Chinese-state owned companies as partners in the planned Mbalam mine. Potential parties include Wuhan Iron and Steel and Hebei Iron and Steel, according to the reports.
It is understood the latest delay could last four to five weeks. The two Chinese steelmakers had previously been linked to involvement in Mbalam as far back as 2010.
Shanghai-listed subsidiaries of Wuhan and Hebei both headed to the capital markets late last year, with Hebei saying it had won approval to issue $770 million in bonds, and Wuhan Steel seeking $2.3 billion in a share offer to allow it to buy mining assets from its Chinese parent company.
Sundance is due to emerge from its trading halt on Thursday, with its shares last trading at 34Â¢.