From The telegraph:
Mining giant Rio Tinto is considering joint ventures with BHP Billiton as an alternative to the proposed merger of the two companies.
Rio and BHP, which earlier this month made an indicative three-for-one share offer for its rival, already have several joint ventures, including the Escondida copper mine in Chile.
However, as part of its preliminary defence plan - called Project Manchester - Rio and its bankers are looking at offering BHP further tie-ups instead of a full-scale merger.One project thought to be under consideration by Rio is Pilbara, in Australia, where both companies have separate iron ore mining reserves and operations.
Rio's early defence plans - expected to be unveiled next Monday - will also highlight what it considers its own undervalued share price after its acquisition of aluminium miner Alcan and strong pipeline, and the overvalued stock of BHP.
However, the joint venture plans may fall foul of customers who hardened their opposition to BHP's proposals yesterday. Global steel makers insist they would give the company a dominant position in iron ore and say the deal should not be allowed to proceed....MORE