Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton ditch iron ore venture plan in Australia

09:47, October 18, 2010      

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Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton on Monday announced they have scrapped plans for their 120 billion dollars (118.8 billion U.S. dollars) iron ore joint venture in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

The European Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Japan and Korea's Fair Trade Commissions and the German Federal Cartel Office, have advised both companies that the proposal would not be approved in its current form.

According to BHP and Rio, some regulators wanted changes that the two miners were not prepared to accept, and therefore, the companies decided to abandon the deal.

"The full value of the synergies on offer from a 50-50 joint venture was a prize well worth pursuing," Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said in a statement.

"Both companies have worked hard together over the last 16 months in a positive spirit to demonstrate its pro-competitive effects and I am disappointed that ultimately the regulators did not agree with us."

The proposed joint venture would be responsible for one third of global iron ore exports, and the companies also expected the venture to save them around 10 billion dollars (9.9 billion U.S. dollars) in costs.

However, European steel makers were concerned on the rising iron ore prices, and said the plan was anti-competitive, which will make the German vehicle-making industry particularly disadvantaged.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:祁澍文)

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