MINING giant BHP Billiton Ltd has won draft approval from the competition watchdog for its joint venture with leading Japanese steel maker, JFE Steel Corporation. Under the deal, JFE will take a 20 per cent stake in the Western Four deposit at BHP Billiton’s Yandi iron ore mine in Western Australia, alongside the miner’s existing joint venture partners ITOCHU Minerals & Energy of Australia and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation. The joint venture plans to ship 16 million tonnes of iron ore a year to JFE Steel for at least 11 years. BHP Billiton has been dealing with JFE Steel since the late 1960s and says the agreement will strengthen the bond between the two companies.
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