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Eurasian eyeing African rival

MINING group Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC) said yesterday it was in advanced talks to buy the Central African Mining and Exploration Company (Camec), in a deal which could be worth &pound;574m.<br /><br />The Kazakh company, which produces raw materials for steelmaking and provides them to Russia and China, said it was considering a cash offer of 20p per share.<br /><br />&ldquo;However, whilst ENRC is engaged in such discussions and is assessing the merits of a potential transaction, there can be no certainty that any such transaction will proceed,&rdquo; it said yesterday. <br /><br />Camec, which is Aim-listed and chaired by former England cricketer Phil Edmonds, said over the summer that it had been approached about a possible takeover from unnamed parties.<br /><br />Shares in the group have nearly doubled since the statement on 16 July. <br /><br />If ENRC&rsquo;s bid was successful, it would give it access to cobalt and coal operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a stake in the Bokia platinum project in Zimbabwe, a bauxite operation in Mali, and a stake in a flourspar operation in South Africa.<br /><br />Camec&rsquo;s biggest shareholder is Israeli-based resources investor Dan Gertler, who has a holding of about 35 per cent.<br /><br />Last month, ENRC said its pre-tax profits fell 63 per cent to $751m, putting it level with most industrial metal producers for the year.<br />