London-listed Central African Mining & Exploration launched a formal offer for Katanga Mining Ltd on Wednesday, but Katanga Chief Executive Arthur Ditto said he was not interested.

The offer -- which would combine two miners, both focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) -- values the Canadian company at C$1.52 billion (US$1.44 billion).

CAMEC is offering 17 of its shares for each Katanga share, the same terms as it proposed last month.

It's certainly not interesting to me, and it is hard to perceive it as being of much interest to Katanga shareholders who aren't somehow tied to CAMEC, Ditto told Reuters in a telephone interview.

There is the prospect of an alternative to this -- much more attractive and sensible to Katanga shareholders. There are other parties interested in the situation who are examining information.

Katanga said in July it had formed an independent committee of board members to review all strategic alternatives as it faced the possibility of a takeover offer from CAMEC.

But a spokesman for CAMEC -- chaired by former England cricketer Phil Edmonds -- said Katanga had already been given plenty of time to come up with a legitimate alternative.

They've had a good few weeks to try and shake the tree and no alternative has come to light, a spokesman for CAMEC told Reuters.

He added the company has the backing of 54 percent of Katanga shareholders, including its own 22 percent stake, and needed 75 percent to win board control.

Shares in CAMEC were down over 5 percent at 49.75 pence by 1015 GMT, valuing the company at around 611 million pounds ($1.23 billion).

The value of the offer had slid dramatically in recent weeks as CAMEC shares lost about a quarter of their value amid global market volatility, but the stock has rallied nearly 20 percent in the past five sessions.

We believe that the combination of CAMEC with Katanga will

benefit both sets of shareholders and position the enlarged business to take an active role in any further consolidation of the sector in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Edmonds said in a statement.

The deal would create a company with the potential to become the world's largest cobalt producer and one of the largest copper producers in the DRC, the firm said.

The combined group would have a targeted production capacity of around 250,000 tonnes of copper and 20,000 tonnes of cobalt per year.

Katanga, which has previously asked Canadian regulators to block any attempt by CAMEC to add to its stake, said in July it would give due consideration to a formal offer from CAMEC.

CAMEC also said on Wednesday pretax profit for the year to end March was 15.7 million pounds, compared to a loss of 1.1 million pounds the previous year.