First Quantum confident on Inmet bid, sees alternatives

LONDON, March 6 Wed Mar 6, 2013 2:54pm GMT

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LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals, in the throes of a C$5.1 billion bid for rival Inmet Mining Corp, said on Wednesday it was confident the hostile bid would succeed, a week after extending the offer.

But First Quantum President Clive Newall said the company had alternatives, and would continue to pursue development assets where it can leverage its capabilities "of developing projects more efficiently and at a lower cost" than rivals.

First Quantum last week extended its cash-and-stock bid for Inmet, owner of the giant Cobre Panama project, to March 11, citing regulatory issues.

"We are pretty confident the deal will go through," Newall said on a conference call. "We have plenty of things we can do otherwise," he added, in a nod to the group's organic growth but also to numerous assets being placed on sale by the sector's major diversified miners.

Inmet has asked its shareholders to reject First Quantum's bid, calling it inadequate, but the offer already has the support of Inmet's largest shareholder, Leucadia National Corp .