Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Rio Tinto shelves mine expansion

Yandicoogina mine, Western Australia
Rio Tinto has suffered as commodity prices have fallen.

Mining giant Rio Tinto is postponing a $2.15bn (1.4bn) expansion of its Brazilian iron ore mine as the economic slowdown hits steel production.

The firm said it retained the option to restart the development at its Corumba mine in Brazil should the market for iron ore recover.

Last month, the mining firm said it was cutting 14,000 jobs.

The Corumba expansion was announced last July before commodity prices dropped sharply.

Iron ore is they key ingredient in steel production.

First production from the expansion had been due in the final three months of 2010.

Rio Tinto, which is listed in the UK and Australia, currently employs 97,000 people worldwide.

The company is also looking for bidders for its stake in an Australian coal firm, a report said.

China Shenhua Energy, the country's biggest coal miner, plans to bid for a major stake in The firm, according to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

Back in November, rival miner BHP Billiton ended its interest in buying Rio Tinto.

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