Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Masami Iijima) has approved funding for further growth of its Western Australia iron ore business, which is handled by three joint ventures with leading global mining company BHP Billiton (Australia & UK) and ITOCHU Corporation ("ITOCHU", head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Masahiro Okafuji).
The capital investment is expected to total US$7.4 billion, with Mitsui's share amounting to approximately US$0.34 billion. In December 2010, Mitsui approved Pre Sanction Funding equivalent to approximately US$0.03 billion. Including this amount, the total amount of Mitsui's portion is expected to be around US$0.37 billion.
Periodically, Mitsui has moved its iron ore operations in Western Australia forward with multiple phased expansion plans. The work to be funded by the new investment will be added to the current ongoing construction work, the expansion of the Yandi mine, and the Pre Sanction Funding announced in January 2010. The scope of the work includes the expansion of the Port Hedland loading facility, the installation of port blending facilities, and the development of the Jimblebar mine (BHP Billiton holds a 100% share). It is expected to increase installed capacity to in excess of 220 million tonnes per annum ("mtpa") (100% basis).
Mitsui, together with BHP Billiton and ITOCHU, owns the three iron ore joint ventures of Mt. Newman, Yandi and Mt. Goldsworthy in Western Australia (BHP Billiton holds an 85% share, ITOCHU 8%, Mitsui 7%). Approximately 138 million tons of ore were shipped in 2010, primarily to Asian countries.
Mitsui will seek to increase the supply of iron ore through its Western Australia iron ore operations, in response to the expected increase in worldwide demand, particularly among emerging countries over the medium and long terms.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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