UPDATE 4-China's Baosteel in $1 bln bid to revive Australia iron ore project

lunes 5 de mayo de 2014 05:18 GYT

* Aim to open new iron ore export region in Australia

* Aquila says bid unsolicited, hires Goldman Sachs to advise

* Aquila founder Poli seen as reluctant seller - analyst

* Aurizon sees West Pilbara Iron Ore producing from 2017-18

* Aquila shares surge to just below offer price (Adds graphics link)

By Sonali Paul

SYDNEY, May 5 (Reuters) - Chinese steel giant Baosteel Resources and an Australian partner launched a $1 billion takeover bid for Australian explorer Aquila Resources in a move that could help break the grip of mega iron ore exporters Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Monday's unsolicited A$1.14 billion ($1.06 billion) offer to take over Aquila Resources Ltd could open up a new Australian iron ore export region to supply Asian steelmakers, by jumpstarting the $7 billion West Pilbara Iron Ore project (WPIO), half-owned by Aquila.

State-owned Baosteel's move would be the biggest foray into an undeveloped iron ore project in Australia by a Chinese investor since CITIC Pacific's $10 billion Sino Iron project, which began producing last year after massive cost blowouts and delays.   Continuación...