News that global miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have abandoned plans for an iron ore joint venture is unlikely to hit the steel market, analysts say.

BHP BILLITON and Rio Tinto ditched plans to form the world's biggest iron-ore joint venture, in a victory for steel makers and a move that could prompt both miners to step up competing expansion plans.

MEXICAN billionaire Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso has bought protection from volatile metals prices through 2013 as the company expands its mining business.

South African miners cannot hide behind the stronger rand if their earnings fall below forecasts, says a sector analyst.

RBH CEO Niall Carroll was in a combative mood at the recent Sun City platinum conference taking a go at Glencore, Xstrata and Brian Gilbertson as well as Anglo Platinum.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are expected to pursue last-ditch talks with regulators in a bid to save a proposed iron ore joint venture after the project suffered a new blow.

Long called "the poor man's gold", silver is likely to outperform its pricey counterpart this year, a trend that makes it an attractive option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

Samda has recently got right up the noses of both the Chamber of Mines and the department of mineral resources for its stance on nationalisation and empowerment.

Rio Tinto has maintained its 2010 production guidance for iron ore, and says it is driving all its divisions near or above capacity to cash in on strong mineral prices.

The German Federal Cartel Office intends to prohibit BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto's proposed iron ore production joint venture in Western Australia.