Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fighting Rio piles on the prospects (RTP, BHP)

From The Age:

RIO Tinto's superior growth argument against BHP Billiton's spurned $US150 billion ($A174 billion) takeover proposal has gone into overdrive.

Hot on the heels of a $US991 million expansion of the Kestrel coalmine in Queensland and $US2.4 billion in Pilbara iron ore expansions, Rio has now pointed to its ability to capitalise on a $US1.5 billion spot pricing bonanza in iron ore, as well as giving the go-ahead for a controversial $US300 million nickel project in the US.

Rio's heavy promotion of its growth options and value-enhancing opportunities comes as the British Takeover Panel is expected to direct BHP tonight to either "out up or shut up" with its 3-for-1 scrip proposal, with the usual six to eight weeks' decision time expected.

A defiant Rio has argued that BHP needs Rio more than Rio needs BHP, such is the range of its opportunities. The latest spot pricing plans for iron ore and the go-ahead for the Eagle nickel mine near Lake Superior in Michigan are the latest shots to be fired....MORE