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Norton Rose acts on $280m joint venture

Norton Rose acts on $280m joint venture

The Australian arm of mega firm Norton Rose has advised on a joint venture between two Asian-based companies in a A$280 million placement.

The long running deal has now been completed, after first being negotiated more than a year ago.

On 7 November 2009, Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment Limited (CCMD) signed a heads of terms with SINOM Investments Limited (SINOM) and Asia Iron Holdings Limited (Asia Iron), to acquire 60 per cent of Asia Iron under a A$280 million placement.

The transaction completed on 17 September 2010, more than 12 months after negotiation of the documentation began.

Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment Limited is a joint venture between Chongqing Iron & Steel (Group) Co. Ltd (CISG) and Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (Group) Co. Ltd. (CFTEC).

CCMD, SINOM and Asia Iron have also agreed on financing arrangements in relation to the transaction and future capital expenditures, Norton Rose said in a statement.

The deal was lead by Norton Rose Perth partner James Stewart, and partners Chris Reden and Jon Perry in Hong Kong. Perth senior associate Roger Hawkins, associates Nicholas Wilson and Andrew Ricciardi and Hong Kong senior associates Michael Turnbull and Christina McGlip also worked on the deal, with Shanghai of counsel Hong Sun.

Asia Iron is a Hong Kong incorporated company whose subsidiaries hold mining assets in Australia, including iron ore assets located at Extension Hill (Mount Gibson Range), Koolanooka South and Wolla Wolla in the Mid West of Western Australia. Asia Iron also owns coal resources in Western Australia.

The flagship Extension Hill Magnetite Project is currently the most advanced of Asia Iron’s projects with total JORC inferred magnetite resources of 1,780 million tonnes already defined and further projects in various stages of exploration. CCMD and SINOMwill jointly develop the Extension Hill Magnetite Project and other projects of Asia Iron. The development of Stage 1 of the Extension Hill project is expected to cost approximately US$2 billion.

Completion of the transaction is a major milestone in the history of CISG and CFTEC, Norton Rose said, it being the first investment in Australia from the Chongqing province, the world's fastest growing region with a population of 32 million. Norton Rose's Perth, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices coordinated to assist CCMD throughout the transaction.

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