An Australian government watchdog has refused to get involved in Eastern Field’s battle to take over junior copper producer Finders Resources.

The Takeovers Panel said it has “declined to conduct proceedings on an application from Eastern Field in relation to the affairs of Finders Resources”.

Eastern Field wanted the Panel to order Finders (ASX:FND) to provide “corrective disclosure and a revised independent expert’s report”.

Finders welcomed the Panel’s decision.

Eastern Field — which comprises Provident Minerals, Indonesian investment firm Saratoga and Indonesian copper-gold miner Merdeka — tabled its 23c off-market offer for Finders in October.

The suitor says it now has a stake of 34.2 per cent, making it Finders largest shareholder.

Eastern Field says it “expects to further increase its relevant interest to a controlling position in due course”.

The company previously flagged concerns over the short mine life of the Wetar operation in Indonesia and production and cost guidance downgrades.

Following the Takeover Panel’s decision, Eastern Field has called on Finders to release the production figures for January and February.

Eastern Field told investors that it will not increase its 23c offer price.

Finders has again urged shareholders to reject the offer, which is due to close March 23.