Earlier this year, two of the world’s three leading iron ore producers inked a deal to create what (by market capitalisation) would be the globe’s largest mining venture. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are still working on the joint venture deal, but the devil is in the detail – not least because China, its leading customer, is militantly opposed to anything that smacks of a cartel. Meanwhile, BHP is apparently considering a revival of its bid to takeover its junior rival, a year after the failure of its first attempt. However, the government of Western Australia, where both companies have their most important iron ore mines, is threatening to slap higher royalties on both companies, and says it won’t “rubber stamp” any merger.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9633.