China's Wuhan Iron & Steel Company (Wisco) has agreed to invest A$180m in Adelaide-based Centrex Minerals to gain a 60% stake in the proposed joint venture over Centrex's magnetite assets in Australia.
The joint venture will develop two 5 million t/y magnetite iron ore mines, located between Port Lincoln, Tumby Bay and Port Neill in Southern and South Central Australia.
The deal will see A$62m injected in the venture in September 2009, Centrex chairman David Lindh said.
"The signing is even more significant against the tensions within the global sea traded iron ore market where negotiations over price and alliances publicly exhibit evidence of strain," Lindh added.
The mines are expected to commence operations within five to seven years, Wisco said.
The deal is awaiting formal approval by authorities.