Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have decided to cancel a proposed joint venture (JV) which would have seen them market products from their individually-owned Western Australian mines under a separate company.

The companies signed a non-binding agreement on 5 June 2009 to create a production JV to market output, which includes their entire Western Australian iron ore assets.

According to the agreement, a maximum of 15% of output was supposed to be sold by the JV but fears were later raised about competition in the market.

Rio and BHP are likely to finalise the definitive JV agreements on target.