BHP Billiton, ArcelorMittal Have Plans for Guinea’s Mount Nimba Iron Ore Mine

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BHP Billiton has made a joint application with ArcelorMittal to export iron ore from a project in Guinea through neighboring Liberia, people familiar with the plan told the Wall Street Journal.

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BHP Billiton and ArcelorMittal asked the two west African governments to approve the plan for ore mined at the Mount Nimba project, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is not public. The largest mining company in the world, ArcelorMittal, wanted to arrange for ore to be transported using a railway line and port controlled by top steel maker ArcelorMittal, three of the people said.

A deal, potentially worth as much as $500 million, would bring an end to BHP’s monthslong attempt to find a buyer for its 41.3% stake in Mount Nimba, a rich deposit located close the Liberian border.

In 2010 the firms tried to combine their iron ore projects that straddle the Liberia-Guinea border before abandoning discussions seven months later. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that ArcelorMittal was close to buying the Nimba mine from BHP Billiton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.54) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.92) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 3,380 ($545.38) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged at CNY 1,390 ($224.28) per metric ton.

For the fifth consecutive day, the steel billet cash price held flat on the LME at $420.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price was unchanged on the LME at $425.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price continues hovering around $642.00 per short ton for the fifth day in a row. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $670.00 per short ton.

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