Why the Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) share price crashed today

The Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) share price was crushed on Thursday, down 18% to 3.6 cents a share. The stock had gained 33% in the past week, on the prospect of a three-way battle for the control of the small-cap miner.

The three contenders are Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN), which presented a takeover proposal in April, plus Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, which have both recently acquired a 20% interest in Atlas.

All the attention for the target (a junior miner struggling with widening discounts on its low-grade iron ore) seems to stem from its valuable infrastructure assets.

In fact, Atlas has access to the Utah Point port facility in Port Hedland, owned by the Western Australian Government.

Atlas expected to also have a ‘priority right’ in the development of additional port capacity in Port Hedland, with two new berths at Stanley Point, but today the State Government clarified that applications for the project will be assessed based on their merits, implying Atlas has no priority right.

Atlas is still considering its position with respect to this notice, which may make the company less appealing to prospective bidders.

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Motley Fool contributor Tommaso Autorino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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