Baosteel raises holding in Aquila

China’s Baosteel Group has increased its stake in Aquila Resources to 19.6% with the purchase of an additional 19 million shares, the Australian miner said on Thursday December 19.

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Aquila said that Baosteel’s increased shareholding was a sign of continued support for the development of the West Pilbara iron ore project in Australia.

Baosteel, which is one of China’s largest steel manufacturers, initially acquired a 15% interest in 2009.

“With over $500 million in cash and liquids, a high quality portfolio of assets and the Eagle Downs Hard Coking Coal project under construction, [Aquila] remains well positioned to capitalise on China’s ongoing demand for steelmaking raw materials,” Tony Poli, executive chairman of Aquila, said in the statement.

Aquila owns a 50% interest in the West Pilbara iron ore project, which has a proposed mining rate of 30 million tpy of iron ore.

It also has a 50% interest in the Eagle Downs hard coking coal project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin region, with 254 million tonnes of proven and probable run-of-mine coal.