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Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) has agreed and signed related agreements today with major resource company BHP to acquire a partial interest in the Western Ridge asset owned by BHP. Itochu Corporation ("Itochu") has also agreed with BHP to acquire a partial interest. Following these acquisitions, Mitsui will own a 7% share of the Western Ridge deposits, while BHP and Itochu will own 85% and 8% respectively.
Iron is an essential metal in various industries. Reflecting strong demand in Asia, sustainable growth in global demand for iron and steel is anticipated.
Western Ridge consists of four iron ore deposits located within the Pilbara region of Western Australia adjacent to iron ore mines jointly owned by Mitsui, BHP and Itochu. When Western Ridge is developed, it is expected to be highly cost competitive, due to it being an open-pit mine with low operating costs, and its ability to reduce development capital by utilizing existing infrastructure. Mitsui is engaging in this development with the aim of maintaining the long-term operational stability and production volumes of its iron ore business in Australia. The development of Western Ridge is subject to government and environmental approvals.
Mitsui has positioned mineral and metal resources as one of the core businesses in its Medium-term Management Plan. These resources are vital to social development, and we will continue our efforts to ensure sustainable and stable supplies through the maintenance and expansion of our iron ore business.
“Build brighter futures, everywhere” as our corporate mission, and to gain the trust and expectations of our stakeholders to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world, we have identified five material issues (“Materiality”) for Mitsui’s sustainable growth. We anticipate this particular project/ business to contribute especially to the realization of “Secure sustainable supply of essential products” and “Enhance quality of life”
Secure sustainable supply of essential products
Enhance quality of life
Create an eco-friendly society
Develop talent leading to value creation
Build an organization with integrity