* Eldorado makes script offer worth C$3.4 bln at 32 pctpremium
* Andean shares halted after jumping 31 percent (Recasts with Gold Corp bid, detail)
SYDNEY, Sept 3 (Reuters) - A takeover battle has eruptedfor Australian-listed gold miner Andean Resources Limited withCanadian miners Goldcorp Inc and Eldorado Gold Corp making bidsfor the firm.
El Dorado's announcement early Friday that it had offeredC$3.4 billion ($3.23 billion) in shares for Andean was followedshortly by Goldcorp's announcement of its C$3.6 billion bid,also in stock.
At stake is Andean's 100-percent owned Cerro Negro Goldproject in the southern province of Santa Cruz in Argentina.
Cerro Negro is the company's advanced-stage goldexploration project, which preliminary studies suggest may haveresource of 3.1 million ounces of gold and 25 million ounces ofsilver as of March 2010, according to the company's website.
Goldcorp said its deal was expected to close in late 2010or early 2011 and had been been unanimously approved by theboards of directors of both companies.
Eldorado is offering 0.31 of its shares for each Andeanshare, valuing Andean at C$6.36 a share, or a third higher thanAndean's Thursday close.
Andean shares jumped 30.9 percent in Sydney trading toA$6.4 before it was placed on trading halt.
The announcements come a few months after Newcrest Miningbought local rival Lihir Gold for $8.4 billion to create theworld's fourth-largest listed gold miner.
Gold prices are hovering near a record high with globaleconomic uncertainty driving investors to safer havens.
With Eldorado's deal, Andean shareholders would end upowning about 24 percent of the combined company, Eldorado said.
The mining sector is leading the global M&A activity, whichrecorded $267 billion worth of deals in August, making it thebiggest month since June 2009, Thomson Reuters data showed.
The materials sector has seen a 30 percent rise in dealswith global miner BHP Billiton leading the charge with a $39billion offer for Canda's Potash.
($1=1.052 Canadian dollar) (Reporting by NarayananSomasundaram in SYDNEY and Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editingby Valerie Lee) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;+61 29373 1815; Reuters Messagingnarayanan.email@example.com)) ((If you havea query or comment on this story, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org))