19 Oct 2010

Mining companies drop joint venture plan

11:36 am on 19 October 2010

Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have scrapped plans for their $A120 billion dollar iron ore joint venture in Western Australia.

The firms expected to save up to $A10 billion by sharing each other's mines and transportation facilities, but the plan faced heavy opposition from national regulators concerned about the effect on iron ore prices.

Regulators in the European Union, Japan and South Korea were among those to express opposition to the deal, and authorities in China, the world's biggest consumer of iron ore, also opposed it.

BHP and Rio Tinto say they are disappointed the deal won't go ahead, but say some regulators wanted changes that they weren't prepared to accept.