Iron Ore courted by ArcelorMittal

July 2, 2008

July 2nd (The Gazette) – ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said today it would be interested in buying Iron Ore Co. of Canada from Rio Tinto Group as it builds up its own “captive” sources of iron ore to a target level of 70 per cent of its needs. ArcelorMittal, which owns neighbouring Quebec Cartier Mining, said acquiring IOC, the biggest Quebec-Labrador producer, would be “a natural fit… we share a lot of infrastructure.” But Rio said IOC is “a good operation and is not on our short list of possible dispositions.”

Rio, parent of Canada’s Alcan and one of the world’s top three iron ore producers, owns 59 per cent of IOC. In March it said it would invest $500 million to expand IOC’s annual capacity from 16 million tonnes to 22 million tonnes of concentrates.

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