Mining group Xstrata is interested in entering the Congo and possibly expanding its spread of commodities to aluminium and iron ore following the collapse of takeover talks with Brazil's Vale , a top official said on Tuesday.

Mark Sawyer, general manager for business development, also told Reuters the firm has not had any further talks with former suitor Vale and was moving forward with its own strategy.

You don't need to be an industry expert to buy into the benefits of a combination of Xstrata and Vale, but as far as I'm aware there haven't been further discussions, Sawyer said on the sidelines of the World Mining Investment Congress in London.

The wealth of mineral deposits in central Africa and especially the Democratic Republic of Congo were attractive areas for expansion, but this would depend on the asset and price, Sawyer said in an interview.

We're continually analysing opportunities in central Africa. I think the challenge is to find the right entry point... the right partner, and so far we haven't found any that work for us. (Reporting by Eric Onstad; N)

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