The bid comprises of A$1.08 ($1.1) per share representing a 26% premium to Western Desert’s last closing price.

Western Desert chairman Rick Allert said, "This offer from a major Chinese corporation represents excellent value for shareholders."

The company has its mining presence in base metals, gold, iron ore and uranium in Western Australia, while Meijin has its focus on coal mining, coke production and steel making in China and Australia.

Meijin Energy chairman Junliang Yao added, "After receiving appropriate government approvals for our proposal, I am looking forward to the development of the Roper Bar Iron Ore Project in the Northern Territory.

"This is a great resource and will fit into Meijin’s long-term strategy in Australia, and we would like to see the resource developed to be the flagship project of the Northern Territory."

Currently, Western Desert has undertaken a 4.2 billion tonne coal project in Queensland’s Galilee basin, in addition to several wholly owned as well as partnered projects.