The Vietnamese government has given approval to Japanese construction firm Kobelco to buy a stake in mining company Thach Khe Iron JSC in the northern province of Ha Tinh.
But it is not known how much stake it would acquire in Thach Khe, which owns Southeast Asia's largest iron mine, Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep newswire reported Tuesday.
Incorporated in 2007 with a chartered capital of VND2.4 trillion (US$113.8 million), TIC has nine shareholders.
The Vietnam Coal and Mining Group (Vinacomin) has a 30 percent stake, state-run Vietnam Steel Corporation owns 20 percent, Ha Tinh Mining and Trading Corporation holds 24 percent, and the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, construction firm Song Da, Bank for Investment and Development, shipbuilder Vinashin, real estate group Bitexco, and Thang Long Metallurgy and Mineral JSC own the rest.
The Japanese firm has ensured supply of iron ore for its $1-billion sponge iron plant in the central province of Nghe An.
Phan Xuan Hoa, deputy director of the Nghe An Southeast Economic Zone, told Dau Tu newspaper that Kobelco has delayed its project to await approval to buy into Thach Khe.
The mine, with a known reserve of 544 million tons, has been operation since 2009.
India's Tata Steel has also expressed an interest in investing in the mine, but has yet to get approval.
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