BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) announced yesterday that it has extended its long-term financial joint venture with Japan-based ITOCHU and Mitsui & Co conglomerates to raise an additional $1.5 billion in BHP’s operations.
Per the new terms, ITOCHU and Mitsui will purchase 8% and 7%, respectively, of BHP Iron Ore (Jimblebar) Pty Ltd, via a combination of both shares and loans. Jimblebar mine is set for a major expansion in Q1 CY2014, and ITOCHU’s and Mitsui’s newest decision represents further belief in the area’s opportunity. Currently, the two corporations own a collective 30% of BHP’s Western Australian Iron Ore mine, rail, and port infrastructure operations.
“We are pleased to extend our successful, long standing joint venture relationship with ITOCHU and Mitsui,” said BHP Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson. “The new Jimblebar mine will have initial production capacity of 35 million tonnes per annum (100% basis) with future expansion potential. Once fully operational this will bring Western Australia Iron Ore’s supply chain capacity to 220 million tonnes per annum (100% basis).”
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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.