(EnergyAsia, December 14 2012, Friday) — China’s U & D Mining has been cleared by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to complete its A$71 million acquistion of Queensland-based coal explorer Endocoal. (US$1=A$0.94).

Endocoal, whose board supports the takeover, said it was informed last week by FIRB that it had no objections to the Chinese miner’s proposal to fully acquire Endocoal’s 187 million shares and to provide A$4 million of interim debt funding.

The Australia-listed company said it has appointed Ernst & Young to provide an independent expert report on whether the proposed transaction is in the best interests of its shareholders. Ernst & Young has enlisted the services of Behre Dolbear Australia Pty Ltd to provide technical input on Endocoal’s assets.

If all goes to plan, the takeover is expected to be completed by next March, said Endocoal.

U & D Mining, a subsidiary of China’s Yima Coal Group, launched its takeover offer of Endocoal on October 29 at A$0.38 a share for a 70% premium.

Endocal, which had been pursued by a number of other suitors, has five exploration tenements in Queensland’s Bowen Basin with marketable reserves of 13 million tonnes and a total resource base of 498 million tonnes. The Company is developing an export-quality thermal coal open cut mine at its flagship Orion Downs tenement, positioned close to existing infrastructure.