BRUSSELS (AP) - ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel maker, and miner
BHP Billiton Ltd. said Tuesday that they were in talks about combining iron
ore mining in Liberia and Guinea.
ArcelorMittal SA said the two companies' iron ore and infrastructure
interests were located near each other and "could be significantly more
competitive if brought together" in a joint venture.
BHP Billiton said the talks were at an early stage and would continue over
Last April, ArcelorMittal halted construction on an ambitious $1.5 billion
project to mine iron ore in western Liberia, citing slow global demand for
steel during the recession.
The company delayed plans to export iron ore until this year or next year
and laid off construction workers building a railway to transport iron ore
from the mine to a port. The plan was a major boost to Liberia's economy,
ravaged by a recent civil war.