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Workers and visitors walk within the processing plant at the Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC) in Eritrea, operated by Canadian company Nevsun Resources.Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Nevsun Resources, a Canadian miner which has been approached regarding a takeover, should enter “good-faith negotiations with any suitor,” Adrian Day Asset Management, one of Nevsun’s top 10 shareholders, said in an open letter to the company’s board on Wednesday.

“We would urge the company to use all efforts to maximize value for shareholders … even if it does mean breaking up the company,” the asset management firm’s chairman Adrian Day said in the letter seen by Reuters.

The firm owns 3.1 million shares of Nevsun, making it the seventh-biggest shareholder based on public filings, Day said.

Nevsun said on May 8 that its board of directors had unanimously rejected a non-binding, unsolicited takeover proposal from fellow Canadian miners Lundin Mining Corp and Euro Sun Mining, saying it was too low and had a “problematic structure.”

Lundin has been keen for years to acquire the Timok copper deposit in Serbia, which Nevsun owns. Lundin, whose board refuses to invest in Eritrea, where Nevsun’s other mine is located, has teamed up with Euro Sun, a small, little-known Canadian mine developer, in a takeover proposal for Nevsun.

Euro Sun on Monday sweetened its portion of the $5-a-share joint proposal for Nevsun to half cash and half stock from all-stock before.

Nevsun’s second-biggest shareholder, M&G Investment Management, said on May 8 it was “positively inclined” toward the $1.5-billion Lundin-Euro Sun proposal.

The proposal is not a formal bid. Nevsun’s chief executive has said he would consider running a full sales process if Lundin and Euro Sun made a formal bid.

Nevsun’s stock was up 0.5 per cent at $4.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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