Sundance's Mbalam project
Sundance's Mbalam project

Sundance Resources expects suitor Hanlong Group to finalise its $1.3 billion takeover by June 7 in the wake of ongoing delays as it seeks provisional approval from Chinese regulators.

Sundance asked the Australian Securities Exchange to extend its trading suspension until February 11, pending confirmation from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in China.

Sundance expects the commission to grant approval to an extension to Hanlong's provisional approval by February 9.

"Following the chairman and managing director's visit to China and a discussion with a senior official of the NDRC last Thursday and a further discussion with Hanlong, it is expected that an extension to Hanlong's NDRC provisional approval will be confirmed prior to Chinese New Year which commences on February 9," Sundance said in a statement.

The company says the scheme will be implemented on May 27 and be finalised on June 7.

Sundance shares, which have been in suspension since Tuesday last week, last traded at 34 cents.

The company said it would set out a scheme timetable after receiving confirmation from Hanlong.

It comes a month after Sundance shares hit 37 cents following reports that Hanlong planned to complete the acquisition for 45 cents per share by March 1, after submitting paperwork to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

In November Sundance chairman George Jones said he expected to "enjoy Christmas" as the Hanlong transaction neared completion.

"Fortunately, I didn't nominate which Christmas," Mr Jones said.

Hanlong already owns about 17 per cent of Sundance and wants the iron ore explorer for its $4.7 billion Mbalam mine in West Africa that straddles the border between the republics of Congo and Cameroon in West Africa.

The Mbalam project, which includes building a 510km rail line and a deepwater port, is expected to produce 35 million tonnes a year of iron ore and operations are planned to begin in 2014.

The 45 cents a share bid by Hanlong, which would value Sundance at around $1.3 billion, has been revised down from 57 cents a share last year amid falling world iron ore prices.

Iron ore prices have since rebounded to more than $US150 per tonne.

However, the market has persistently priced the stock below its takeover price, so there were continuing doubts about the viability of the deal.

The West Australian

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