Rio Tinto closer to selling $6bn stake in Iron Ore of Canada

Rio Tinto (LON, ASX, NYSE:RIO), the world’s second-biggest producer of iron ore, is closer than ever to selling its $6 billion-stake in Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), as it hired investment bank Credit Suisse.

Likely bidders include ArcelorMittal and Teck Resources.

The miner, which owns 58.7% of the Canadian producer, is said to have been already approached by ArcelorMittal and Teck Resources, Canada's largest diversified miner, Sky News reported.

The alleged sale comes a time when iron ore prices have rebounded — now trading around $68 per tonne.

This is not the first time Rio attempts to offload its interest in IOC. In 2013, then chief executive Sam Walsh tried, but failed to sell it as part of a massive assets disposals the company went through at a time of slumping iron ore prices.

The world’s second largest miner is said to also be exploring a public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange of IOC, one of Canada’s largest iron ore producers, which last year had revenues of $1.9 billion in 2017.

IOC operates a mine, concentrator and a pelletizing plant in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as port facilities located in Sept-Îles, in the province of Quebec. It also runs a 418-kilometre railroad that links the mine to the port.