South Korea's Posco hikes stake in Australia's iron ore miner Murchison Metals

South Korea's largest steel maker, Posco said late last week that it has increased its stake in Murchison Metals to 13.91 per cent to become the largest shareholder in the Australian iron ore mining company.

Posco's wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Posco Australia Pty Ltd, which is a core customer of  Murchison, purchased an additional 10 million shares of the miner at A$1.99 each to raise its stake from 12.26 to 13.91 per cent.

Last week, US hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners reduced its stake in Murchison from 12.67 to 11.56 per cent.

"We are delighted by Posco's continuing strong support for Murchison in its leading role in the development of the emerging mid-west iron ore region," said Paul Kopejtka, Murchison executive chairman.

Perth-based Murchison holds a 50-per cent stake in Crosslands Resources Ltd, which is the owner of the Jack Hills iron ore project located in the mid-west region of Western Australia. 

The remaining 50-per cent of Crosslands is held by Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan's largest general trading company.

The Stage 1 Jack Hills project currently produces up to 1.8 Mt of high grade iron ore per annum and feasibility studies for a major Stage 2 expansion are well advanced.

In addition, Murchison holds a 50=per cent economic interest in independent infrastructure business, Oakajee Port and Rail development project that will provide world class logistics services to miners, including Crosslands and other potential customers in the mid-west region of Western Australia.