The Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton iron ore joint venture in the Pilbara region is still a live issue despite recent claims that Rio Tinto is poised to abandon the project.
Sam Walsh the iron ore chief at Rio Tinto said that the recent leak of confidential information was an attempt to influence the final outcome of the project, but he declined to name the culprit.
The verbatim reporting of statements made in the conference has been an embarrassment for Rio which has launched an investigation into the matter. Mr Walsh said that the recent leak from the company teleconference seemed to be part of an attempt to influence the outcome of the deal.
The $120 billion iron ore joint venture in the Pilbara will provide more than US $ 10 billion in synergies for both the miners. However the markets are not hopeful of the tie up coming to pass as the deal is facing a large body of regulatory opposition.
Mr Walsh said that Rio Tinto was willing to give it a red hot go. He was speaking at a business function in Brisbane when he said that you don't walk away until you have actually given it the very best. He also said that the mining giants expect to save a lot in operational costs and that was a huge prize.