Posco mulls stake purchase in ArcelorMittal iron ore mines

15 November 2012 (Last Updated November 15th, 2012 18:30)

Korean steelmaker Posco will lead a consortium of buyers to acquire a 10% stake in the iron ore mines of ArcelorMittal in Canada.

Iorn ore mine

Korean steelmaker Posco will lead a consortium of buyers to acquire a 10% stake in the iron ore mines of ArcelorMittal in Canada.

AcelorMittal has indicated it plans to divest a 30% stake in its Canadian iron ore operations.

The company selected Goldman Sachs Group and Royal Bank of Canada to undertake the process.

Posco may invest nearly $300m and has employed the services of Morgan Stanley to assist with the purchase, Bloomberg reported citing a Korean news agency.

Posco's Seoul spokeswoman Kim Ji Young was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, "We are studying a possible stake purchase in the iron ore asset in Canada. At the moment, nothing has been determined."

ArcelorMittal has, in recent times, lowered dividends and begun shifting mining output to low cost sites.

The company is also divesting various assets to enable a reduction in debt amounting to $23.2bn.

In October 2012, ArcelorMittal chief financial officer Aditya Mittal hinted at selling a part of the iron ore operations, although there are no plans to divest mining assets.

ArcelorMittal Mines Canada annually generates 15 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate and over nine million tons of iron oxide pellets. It operates two open pit mines and produces about 40% of Canada's iron ore output.

Last month, Posco and other Korean investors together terminated a $1.25bn bid to acquire a stake in Australian steel and iron ore company Arrium.


Image: Posco may gain a minority interest in ArcelorMittal's Canadian mines. Photo: ArcelorMittal.