BC Iron looks to buy rest of Nullagine

BC Iron says any move to buy Fortescue Metals' remaining stake in the Nullagine mine project would not affect its iron ore shipments.

BC Iron says any move to buy Fortescue Metals' remaining stake in the Nullagine mine project would not affect its iron ore shipments.

Managing director Morgan Ball said buying back a 25 per cent stake in Nullagine was an "obvious opportunity" because of the strong cash flow, but his company was not desperate to make a deal.

"I personally don't think it would change the dynamic," Mr Ball told the Diggers and Dealers mining conference on Tuesday.

BC Iron's products are hauled and shipped by Fortescue's The Pilbara Infrastructure.

BC Iron struck a $190 million deal with Fortescue last year to take an additional 25 per cent stake in the Nullagine project in the Pilbara, lifting its stake to 75 per cent.

Mr Ball said BC Iron did not mind Fortescue being involved in its operations although it did favour a complete buyout.

"They add real value to our products, not just in the logistics, but in their experiences."

Mr Ball also predicts the iron ore price will hover around $US100 to $US110 ($112 to $124) per tonne over the longer term. However, he said forecasting Chinese production was difficult. "The marginal cost of domestic production is in the order of $100 per tonne, so I have confidence that it wouldn't stay below that ... for any long period of time."

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