China's Zijin to buy Canadian miner Nevsun for $1.41 bn

A miner works in a copper mine

China's Zijin will buy Canadian gold and copper miner Nevsun for C$1.86 billion ($1.41 billion), the companies announced Wednesday, as state-backed Zijin continues an acquisition streak abroad.

Zijin offered shareholders C$6.00 ($4.5) per share in the all-cash deal that comes after Nevsun rejected several bids from Canadian rival Lundin Mining.

"Zijin is a proven mining industry operator with a US$10 billion market capitalisation and a demonstrated track record of successfully completing international transactions," said Ian Pearce, chair of Nevsun's board.

"This premium transaction is an excellent outcome for our shareholders."

Zijin, based in the eastern province of Fujian, is a top global miner specialising in gold, copper and zinc and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

"Nevsun is an exceptional operator, with a strong focus on safe, efficient and sustainable mining practises. As the new owner we will continue that focus," said its chairman Chen Jinghe.

Zijin intends to rapidly develop Nevsun's mining assets including those in Serbia, the companies said.

The deal builds on Zijin's position in Serbia after announcing last month that it would take over a debt-hit copper mine in the country with a $1.26 billion investment.

It marks the continued expansion of Beijing's economic footprint in the Balkans, which has raised concern in Brussels and Western Europe.