Marubeni, Posco, STX Corp close to buying 30% in Roy Hill project for $3.2 bn

Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp, Korean Steelmaker Posco and Korean company STX Corp are close to acquiring a combined 30-per cent stake in Australian iron ore miner Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd for $3.2 billion.

Under the proposed deal, Marubeni would take 12.5 per cent, Posco 15 per cent and STX 2.5 per cent, Marubeni said in a statement today. The transaction has been approved by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

Posco already owns 3.75 per cent and STX 1.25 per cent in the Roy Hill project, owned by Australia's richest woman, Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

The consortium has also secured 16.5 million tonnes of iron ore each year as their share of production when Roy Hill starts shipping the production in 2014.

''Having strong partners with international experience in finance, engineering, construction, marketing and logistics will provide support for Roy Hill and assist in securing debt financing,'' Rinehart said in a statement.

The Roy Hill 1 Project is a giant-sized, low-phosphorus iron ore deposit located in the Chichester Ranges of the Pilbara region of West Australia. Hancock holds five tenements collectively referred to as Roy Hill 1 since 1993.