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Chairman's Comments

Statement Concerning Terminationof the Proposed Iron Ore Production Joint Venture by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto

October 18,2010
Eiji Hayashida
The Japan Iron and Steel Federation

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto on October 18, 2010 announced that they have agreed to abandon the proposed production joint venture (the JV) covering the entirety of both companies’ Western Australian Iron Ore assets because it has become increasingly apparent that regulatory approvals of the joint venture are unlikely to be achieved.
The Japanese Steel industry has consistently opposed the proposed JV and fully cooperated with regulatory authorities in their investigations, based on its understanding that, if the proposed JV were allowed to proceed, all the iron ore production activities in Western Australia of both companies would be completely integrated, and the JV would therefore be likely to substantially restrict competition, just as would have been the case had the proposed merger of Rio Tinto by BHP Billiton in 2008 materialized.The Japanese steel industry welcomes the outcome of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retracting their plan to establish the JV.

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