London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 September 2010 – ArcelorMittal “’ the world’s largest steelmaker “’ and the top miner in the world “’ BHP Billiton “’ have scrapped plans to combine their iron ore assets in West Africa, after failing to seal a final deal.
Reuters reports from here that the two companies announced in a joint statement that they had ended talks after failing to reach a commercial agreement. They had announced in January that they hoped to create a joint venture in the neighbouring West African states of Guinea and Liberia in order to cut costs on infrastructure
“BHP Billiton and ArcelorMittal will continue to advance their iron ore interests in West Africa independently, and will work closely with governments and their communities,” the two companies said.
ArcelorMittal said the first phase of its Liberia iron ore operation was under construction, and it expected to launch production in the second half of next year.
Analysts had said that BHP would have benefited by allowing it to ship ore from Guinea through the Liberian coast, cutting hundreds of km from the access route, and ArcelorMittal would have benefited from BHP’s mining expertise.