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Fortescue Metals cuts stake in Atlas Iron

Fortescue Metals Group has reduced its stake in Atlas Iron, paring back its position in the junior miner a month after a battle for control was won by Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

On Monday Fortescue said it had cut its stake in the Pilbara miner from 19.9 per cent to 11.37 per cent.

Fortescue had built up a blocking stake in Atlas in June, when it was a takeover target for then suitor Mineral Resources.

However, Atlas endorsed a $390 million offer from billionaire Ms Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting later that month.

Hancock and Fortescue covet Atlas's rights at Australia's biggest iron ore port, Western Australia's Port Hedland, given limited opportunities for expansion.

However, Atlas said later the government had notified it that its North West Infrastructure joint venture does not have priority rights to develop shipping berths including ones at Port Headland.

"Fortescue will actively participate in the proposed industry consultation with the Western Australian State Government regarding berth access at Port Hedland," Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines on Monday.

Fortescue shares were up four cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $4.34 at 1328 AEST.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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