Through his privately held company, Timis Mining and Timis has approached Australia’s Cape Lambert Resources for $20m funding.

Investec analysts were quoted by Reuters as saying that African Minerals seems to be the natural buyer for the Marampa mine.

"It is interesting that it is Timis’ private company purportedly doing the bidding, perhaps because it can more readily realise the funding to make the offer," they said.

London Mining went into administration after it was hit by slump in iron ore prices and failed to find a suitable buyer.

Located 120km from African Minerals’ Tonkolili mine, the Marampa mine is said to host iron ore reserves sufficient for 40 years of mining and has a workforce of 1,300.

Cape Lambert executive chairman Tony Sage said: "The Timis Mining owned Marampa Mine is expected to produce between 5 to 7 million tons of iron concentrate per annum which means a potential income stream to Cape Lambert of between US$10 – $14 million per annum or up to $56 million in total over the term of the royalty."