A consortium led by Pallinghurst Resources has raised its takeover offer for Australian mining firm Consolidated Minerals Ltd., valuing it at A$642 million ($544 million) and winning the support of Consolidated's board.

Consolidated said in a statement that Pallinghurst raised the cash part of its bid by 30 cents to A$1.68 per share, while maintaining the scrip part at two shares in a new listed company for every five Consolidated shares.

The new bid values Consolidated at A$2.82 a share, compared with Friday's close of A$2.84.

Pallinghurst, headed by former BHP Billiton Ltd. chief Brian Gilbertson, increased the cash component of the offer in response to the demand from institutional investors.

Today's announcement ... is based on this shareholder feedback, and reflects our desire to work in partnership with existing shareholders to realize the full potential of NewCSM, Gilberston said in a statement.

Earlier, an independent expert valued Consolidated in the range of A$2.33-A$2.77 per share..

Pallinghurst said that the short-term outlook for manganese and chromite has increased since the original proposal was tabled in February. But spot nickel prices fell 28 percent since June.

Gilbertson's Pallinghurst Resources and privately-held coal miner AMCI have proposed the offer for Consolidated, which primarily mines manganese and chromite in Australia's outback.

Consolidated has been looking to move into potentially more profitable nickel, zinc and copper mining.

Gilbertson, a South African, was the architect behind Billiton's $57 billion takeover of BHP in 2001. He left the merged company after six months as chief executive over rumored disagreements with the board.