Xstrata is looking for more acquisitions to create an iron ore division following its recent bid to acquire Sphere Minerals for A$514m (US$520.9m).

The creation of an iron ore division will help the company compete with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, reports Bloomberg.

Xstrata Coal CEO Peter Freyberg said the company plans to create a division so that it becomes its own business unit within the group.

Freyberg said Xstrata wants to buy Sphere for its three iron ore projects in Mauritania and has agreed to invest US$106m in the Zanaga project in the Republic of Congo.