UPDATE 2-Atlas considers asset sales, restructuring to survive iron ore crash

martes 7 de abril de 2015 00:56 GYT

* Atlas to announce review outcome in two weeks, Lazard advises

* Atlas seen as most vulnerable to iron ore slump - analyst

* Could consider cutting output - analyst (Adds more comment, details)

By Sonali Paul and James Regan

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY, April 7 (Reuters) - Australia's Atlas Iron Ltd is reviewing its operations and could look to sell assets to combat a dramatic slide in iron ore prices in a vastly oversupplied market dominated by mega producers.

Shares in Atlas, one of a handful of small miners that emerged to meet rising demand for the steel-making mineral in China a decade ago but now struggling to stay afloat, were voluntarily suspended on Tuesday as it maps out a strategy.

Atlas shares have plunged 40 percent since January, outpacing a 35 percent decline in iron ore, and the firm said it has hired Lazard to advise on ways to reduce overheads.

All but the world's biggest miners are on the ropes following iron ore's dive, stoked by a flood of new supply from Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale just as Chinese demand growth slowed.

Chinese mines - among the least efficient - will absorb most of the losses. But analysts have warned small Australian miners, such as BC Iron and Atlas, were operating close to break-even and will need to slash overheads.   Continuación...