A proposed iron ore joint venture between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto has hit another roadblock: a German competition agency looks likely to veto the $A120 billion deal.
The German Federal Cartel Office has issued a statement saying its current intention is to block the proposed iron ore joint venture in Western Australia.
Formal notification of the agency's decision is expected by next week.
The ABC reports the two mining groups released a joint statement expressing their disappointment at the decision.
Many analysts say the decision is another nail in the coffin for the deal.
However, the miners say they have not lost hope and will continue to push the deal forward.
The proposed venture is expected to save BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto around $A10 billion in costs as they combine infrastructure in Western Australia's Pilbara region.