African Minerals in talks with ENRC over funding

AFRICAN MINERALS, the London-listed miner, said yesterday it was in talks with several large Asian industrial firms, including Kazahk miner ENRC, over a possible takeover or funding for its Tonkolili iron ore mine. <br /><br />Shares in the group, led by chairman Frank Timis, hit a record high of 389.75p yesterday, valuing the group at $1.37bn (&pound;830.7m). The shares have risen 17-fold this year.<br /><br />Timis holds 20 per cent of the group&rsquo;s shares, and also founded Regal Petroleum.<br /><br />&ldquo;The discussions that we have had up until recently have been around ENRC taking a position,&rdquo; African Minerals chief executive Alan Watling said.<br /><br />ENRC could buy up to 29.9 per cent of African Minerals before being forced to make a full takeover under Aim rules.<br /><br />The company has also attracted interest elsewhere and is keen to find investors to help fund its flagship&nbsp; $2.7bn Tonkolili iron ore project in Sierra Leone, which it bills as the world&rsquo;s third-largest magnetite iron ore resource.