BHP Billiton plans to support the regulatory process of its iron ore JV with Rio Tinto, despite talk Rio plans to terminate the deal. Rio was forced to deny media speculation that its board had decided at a meeting on Monday to terminate the $US116 billion agreement with its main rival. BHP would not be drawn on the report, but it is understood the mining giant wants the regulatory process to run its course to assess where there are issues with the deal. If the deal does fall over, the miners are said to be keen to look at a Plan B, which includes infrastructure sharing. “The Western Australian iron ore production joint venture continues to be assessed by regulators,” the world’s largest diversified miner said in a one-line statement to The Australian. Regulatory hurdles, particularly from Europe and China, have been widely tipped to be the biggest risk to the deal going ahead, with the market increasingly expecting the joint venture to fall over.