Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corp. President Zhang Xiaogang said Thursday that there has been no result in the annual iron ore pricing talks between Chinese steel mills and global iron ore producers.

"We haven't had a conclusion yet" on expectations for the new contract iron ore price, which will apply in the 12 months starting April 1, Zhang told journalists in Perth.

But he said that it is a "very difficult time for everyone" in the steel sector and Zhang would appreciate the opportunity for iron ore miners and steel mills to "work together and cooperate."

Zhang, in Perth to meet Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett and executives from its Australian joint venture partner, Gindalbie Metals Ltd. (GBG.AU), said that he plans to meet with Rio Tinto Ltd. (RTP) executives Friday and pricing will be discussed.

Zhang also emphasized the financial stresses being experienced by Chinese steel makers.

"I believe that, starting from April this year, every single steel maker in China was making a loss."

Zhang said that Australian government approvals for Ansteel's A$162 million investment in Gindalbie are taking "a fair bit of time" but he said clearance for the deal from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board will be "coming very soon."

Ansteel is China's second largest steel maker by output.

-By Stephen Bell, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; 61-8-9244-4243; sgbell@bigpond.com

 
 
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