Commodities Buzz: Australias Fortescue Takes Stake In Atlas Iron

Australias Fortescue Metals Group said on Thursday it has built up a 19.9 percent interest in small iron ore miner Atlas Iron Ltd, giving it a large enough stake to block a takeover of Atlas by Mineral Resources Ltd.

Fortescue, the worlds No. 4 iron ore miner, said it would not support Mineral Resources A$ 280 million ($ 214 million) takeover of Atlas announced in April on the current deal terms, but said it reserved the right to do so.

Mineral Resources said at the time that the amalgamation of its existing Pilbara iron ore assets with those of Atlas would lead to greater synergies and economies of scale, helping to drive down costs.