Mitsubishi Seeks China, Korea Partners in Australian Iron Ore

Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), Japan’s biggest commodity supplier and trader, will seek partners among South Korean, Chinese and Japanese steelmakers as it looks to share the cost of developing an iron ore project in Australia.

Mitsubishi took full control of Crosslands Resources Ltd., owner of the Jack Hills iron ore deposit, after buying out the 50 percent stake of Murchison Metals Ltd. (MMX), the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement. Mitsubishi said Nov. 24 that the transaction value would be A$325 million ($350 million).

Mitsubishi intends to find at least one “suitably capitalized” partner to take up the stake sold by Murchison Metals, according to the statement. The trader may seek investment from resource companies, Masahiro Deguchi, a Tokyo- based spokesman, said by telephone, declining to identify specific companies.

China’s Sinosteel Corp. (SINOSZ), Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. (600019), and Angang Steel Co. (000898), or South Korea’s Posco (005490) may partner Mitsubishi and get between 30 percent to 50 percent in the $10 billion iron ore project, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people close to the deal.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at yhumber@bloomberg.net; Ichiro Suzuki in Tokyo at isuzuki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net.

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