BHP Billiton announces joint venture to align interests across Western Australia iron ore supply chain

BHP Billiton has announced the extension of its long term joint venture relationship with ITOCHU Corporation and Mitsui & Co - who together hold a 15 per cent interest in BHP Billiton's Western Australia Iron Ore current mine, rail and port infrastructure.

Under the agreement, ITOCHU and Mitsui will invest around $800,000 and $700,000 respectively in shares and loans of BHP Iron Ore (Jimblebar), representing an eight per cent and seven per cent interest in the Jimblebar mining hub and resource. The transaction is subject to Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval and other customary conditions and is expected to be completed in the September 2013 quarter.

BHP Billiton president iron ore, Jimmy Wilson said:

We are pleased to extend our successful, long standing joint venture relationship with ITOCHU and Mitsui. The new Jimblebar mine will have initial production capacity of 35 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis) with future expansion potential. Once fully operational this will bring Western Australia Iron Ore's supply chain capacity to 220 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis).