ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said it’s in a ‘better position’ than rivals to withstand the effects of the potential merger between BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Group. “We have a unique position’’ because of the company’s iron-ore and mining assets, Julien Onillon, vice-president of investor relations at the Luxembourg-based company, said on a conference call today.
At present ArcelorMittal is 47% self-sufficient in iron ore through its mines in the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Kazakhstan, ArcelorMittal spokesman Jean Lasar said on Wednesday. “That figure is expected to increase to 75% in the next seven to eight years,’’ he said.
A combination of BHP and Rio would control 38% of seaborne iron-ore trade, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Ltd.