ITOCHU to Acquire Interests in Western Ridge Iron Ore in Western Australia
June 2, 2021
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & COO: Keita Ishii; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) has agreed to acquire a partial interest in the Western Ridge iron ore deposits owned by BHP, and today signed the relevant agreements.
Mitsui & Co., Ltd (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Kenichi Hori; hereinafter “Mitsui”) has also agreed with BHP to acquire a partial interest in the Western Ridge iron ore deposits. Following these acquisitions, ITOCHU will own an 8% share of the Western Ridge deposits, while Mitsui and BHP will own 7% and 85%, respectively. ITOCHU and Mitsui will also bear any development costs that arise in future in connection with the development of Western Ridge , according to their respective ownership interests.
Western Ridge consists of four vast iron ore deposits located within the Pilbara region of Western Australia adjacent to the Mt. Newman joint venture between ITOCHU, Mitsui and BHP.
When developed Western Ridge is expected to be an open-pit mine with low operating costs and will be developed utilizing the existing port and rail infrastructure, thus helping maintain and strengthen the cost competitiveness of the Western Australia Iron Ore operations, as ITOCHU and its partners seek to sustainably achieve 290 million tons per annum capacity. The development of Western Ridge is subject to government and environmental approvals.
Moving forward, ITOCHU will build on the strong partnerships it has formed with its excellent partners to continue expanding its carefully selected portfolio of highly cost competitive resource business projects.