Resources group Rio Tinto said on Friday that it had extended its $4-billion offer for Riversdale by another two weeks.
It also indicated that the offer might be extended further.
The $16.50 (Australian dollars) a share cash offer, which was set to close on Friday, has been repeatedly extended since the offer was first made in March.
But since its previous extension two weeks back, the group has only secured 0.39% of its target.
“Following recent acceptances to the offer, Rio Tinto now holds a relevant interest in approximately 73.39% of Riversdale shares,” the group said.
The largest remaining shareholder in Riversdale is Tata Steel, which holds slightly more than 26%.
Tata Steel has indicated that it intends to remain invested in the company.
The free-float of Riversdale shares not controlled by either Rio Tinto or Tata Steel has continued to fall and is now only 0.33% of all shares on issue.
Rio Tinto has said it plans to delist Riversdale from the Australian bourse.
Riversdale has as its major assets coal projects in Mozambique and South Africa.
In South Africa, the company owns the Zululand Anthracite Colliery, which has an operating underground mine in the Zululand coalfield of northern KwaZulu-Natal. — I-Net Bridge