ArcelorMittal X BHP Billiton = Railroad to the Atlantic
In the Story below keep in mind BHP is finally getting what it has been waiting for years (we will follow with the history later this week) to acquire. The question is do the people of Liberia get a fair share?!
BHP, Arcelor in alliance talks over West Africa
January 20, 2010 12:00AM
STEEL giant ArcelorMittal and miner BHP Billiton are discussing combining their iron ore interests in Liberia and Guinea, creating a platform for a West African iron ore business.
The assets include BHP's 43.5 per cent interest in Guinea's Euronimba, which owns 95 per cent of the Nimba project, including exploration leases at Dieke and Nimba North, as well as the miner's four Liberian leases.
Also at stake is ArcelorMittal's 70 per cent interest in five Liberian leases and rights to upgrade Liberia's Yekepa-Buchanan railway and Panamax port.
Talks to combine the assets were expected to take several months, and the companies were seeking the support of the west African governments, BHP said.
"At this stage it is premature to comment on the nature of the overall investment. We are at early stage of reviewing the opportunities and development options," a BHP spokeswoman said.
Mining companies have had a rough ride in Guinea since the death of longtime dictator Lansana Conte in December 2008.
Junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power but the self-appointed president's behaviour became increasingly autocratic.
Holding negotiations with international mining companies live on national television, he threatened to close mines and confiscate projects.
The country now has an interim leader, General Sekouba Konate, after Dadis fled following an assassination attempt.
Dow Jones Newswires