VDM executive chairman Dr Hua Dongyi. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian.
VDM executive chairman Dr Hua Dongyi. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian.

Chinese-controlled VDM Group is on the verge of entering a new phase as an international miner through a deal to operate a project in Angola.

The company is understood to be in the final stages of negotiating the rights to mine at the copper project.

The move is expected to require additional funding via VDM's biggest shareholders, executive chairman Dongyi Hua and director Hiuming Luk.

The capital raising would likely bolster the size of their combined stake in the company beyond its current 55 per cent.

VDM declined to comment about what it called speculation.

In a recent interview with _ WestBusiness _, Dr Hua said he wanted to use VDM to export Australian mining expertise.

"We still believe and think the Australian mining industry has excellent knowledge and experience," he said, emphasising safety, environmental protection and performance record.

"We want to present the new VDM as a pure Australian mining company to bring those kinds of advantages, going to other continents to seek opportunities to develop resources projects there."

Dr Hua identified Africa and Latin America as the most likely locations.

While VDM might where possible engage Chinese contractors and equipment to save costs, he said the work would be carried out according to Australian mining standards.

Mining is one of four business divisions Dr Hua has introduced in revamping the contractor since taking control last year.

The others are procurement and trading, construction and services.

The former CITIC Pacific Mining boss' involvement rescued VDM from likely collapse after it had struggled to survive for several years.

Dr Hua's H&H Holdings and Mr Luk's Australia Kengkong Investments have sunk about $15 million into the company. Dr Hua has a 35 per cent stake and Mr Luk 20 per cent.

In the company's other businesses, supplier deals have been struck this year with Chinese manufacturers SANY Heavy Machinery, Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group (DHHI), Ansteel Construction and EDT Hydraulic Breakers.

The company's major shareholders have tightened their grip on the board after last week's resignation of deputy chairman Michael Perrott. His departure leaves two independents. The two major shareholders are expected to bring in a third allied director.

The West Australian

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