|Chinese mining tycoon missing
A Chinese tycoon with ties to mining companies in the United States, Australia and Africa is missing and a newspaper says he has been detained by police.
Sichuan Jinlu Group said it is looking for its chairman, Liu Han, and has been unable to contact him by phone.
The newspaper Shanghai Securities News said Liu was detained by Beijing police in mid-March while on a business trip to the Chinese capital. Chinese police regularly detain people for lengthy questioning without charge or public notice, AP reports.
Liu's main company, Sichuan Hanlong Group, owns a 13 percent stake in General Moly, a Colorado miner of molybdenum, a mineral used to harden steel. Hanlong was arranging financing for a General Moly mine in Nevada.
General Moly said in a statement Wednesday it suspended work on a US$665 million loan for its Mt. Hope mine from the state-run China Development Bank until it receives clarification from Hanlong.
Hanlong also owns 14 percent of Australia's Sundance Resources, which is developing an iron mine in Congo and neighboring Cameroon in central Africa. Hanlong is offering US$1.5 billion to acquire the rest of the company but Sundance said this week the deal has yet to receive final approval from China's economic planning agency.
Sundance asked Wednesday for trading in its shares on Australian markets to be suspended while it seeks information from Hanlong about Liu.
Liu and his ex-wife were detained in Beijing before they returned to his home province of Sichuan, the Shanghai Securities News said, citing unidentified sources. It said other relatives were detained in Sichuan.
Beijing police did not respond to questions by phone and fax about whether Liu was detained.