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Future of Rasp Mine under discussion

Wednesday, 8th April, 2009

The Rasp Mine will be developed if the outcome of talks between CBH Resources and a number of would-be backers are successful. Managing director Stephen Dennis told the Australian Financial Review recently that Rasp was its premier project and the company was in talks with a number of parties to see it developed. "One way or another we will see a development at Rasp - that's our best project," Mr Dennis said. "What I'd like to see happen is to get the company to a position where it has got the support or perhaps a cornerstone investor outside of Toho."

Toho Zinc, a Japanese company, is CBH's largest shareholder with a 28.8 per cent stake. An article published in yesterday's AFR, titled "CBH open to investors from Asia", suggested that CBH was looking to secure a Chinese company as a major shareholder as it prepared to develop Rasp. The article said CBH was in discussions with as many as three different Chinese groups, while also looking for other options. Following that article, Mr Dennis released a response on behalf of CBH to the ASX saying "all these discussions are confidential, incomplete and are insufficiently definite to warrant disclosure".

Mr Dennis also poured cold water on the AFR's suggestions that talk outcomes could be reached as early as next month saying; "There is currently no basis for the particular time line suggested in the article". While he has declined to comment on who CBH is in talks with, he did tell the ASX on Monday that CBH was in confidential discussions with a number of separate parties. Mr Dennis said those discussions were "focused on positioning the company for future growth". Last month, a market watch website suggested that Perilya had secured several of CBH's Broken Hill ore deposits, a claim both companies denied.

But last week's visit to Cobar by a senior Perilya manager set more tongues wagging about the prospect of a deal between the two. It is also understood that a number of other interested parties also visited Cobar last week to view CBH's operations. Last year CBH Resources attempted a number of takeovers of Perilya in a merger designed to consolidate the local resource. The offer was rejected by Perilya shareholders after Chinese company Shenzhen Zongjin Lignan Nonfemet emerged, resulting in it acquiring a 50.1 per cent and controlling stake in Perilya.

CBH shares continued their rally yesterday rising more than 20 per cent to $0.071 with volumes traded at more than 12.7 million.

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