BHP, Rio in WA iron ore joint venture

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will set up a production joint venture comprising all of their iron ore assets in Western Australia, in a move expected to save them billions of dollars.


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Wow it's kinda like Collingwood and Carlton joining forces in an attempt to keep the developing Tigers at bay. We've still got Ben Cousins and the Chinese have the Mills and Four green houses with 1 red hotel. Be wary of the Dragon

Perth, WA
It's about time these two 'got into bed'!!! It makes sense - they get to keep their own contracts but can market the JV option to more 'obstinate' potential customers - where necessary. The burning questions: As a BHPB shareholder, is the share value likely to be affected by the 'perceived' cross pollination of Rio's debt load, now that it appears Rio has pulled out of the Chinalco buy-in (read 'back door raw material price control and board ownership')?? Does BHP Billiton get to share the debt load as well as the proposed, or perceived, benefits?? Is this a 'backdoor' way of BHPB slowly absorbing Rio and becoming a single entity at some stage in the future?? How will the competition view the JV and some of the future scenarios, and what actions will they encourage their respective Governments to take, in order to remain competitive in a market that is becoming much more selective about where it sources it's raw material from, and how much it pays for that raw material??

At last, an OPEC like move by Australia. Will send the Sino's scurrying around the smaller iron ore holders. If we can only bite the bullet and do something similar with uranium.

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