The World Steel Association (worldsteel) has welcomed the recent announcement from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to abandon their proposed iron ore joint venture in Western Australia. Ian Christmas, worldsteel Director General said, "We are obviously pleased that this joint venture is no longer going ahead. We have long argued that allowing BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to merge their Western Australia iron ore businesses was not in the public interest. However, the decision not to proceed with the JV does not address the already uncompetitive nature of the seaborne iron ore market where the top three mining companies have a combined share of about 70%.
The largest steel company in the world today accounts for less than 10% of total world steel production leading to a healthy and open market for steel products worldwide. This cannot be said for iron ore, one of the key raw materials for steel production."