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Chinese Stake in Rio Rattles BHP Bid

Aluminum maker Chinalco, along with Alcoa, announce their purchase of a 12% stake in Rio Tinto, BHP's rival and takeover target

The fight for control over mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP) took another twist Feb. 1 after China's largest aluminum maker, Chinalco, and Pittsburgh-based metals firm Alcoa (AA) bought a 12% stake for $14 billion in the Australian company.

The announcement comes only days (BusinessWeek.com, 1/29/08) before BHP Billiton (BHP) has to confirm its proposed $122 billion bid for rival Rio Tinto, which, if it goes through, will create a global behemoth in the copper, aluminum, iron ore, and coal markets—commodities whose prices have skyrocketed due to high demand in emerging markets.