Global mining heavy weight GlencoreXstrata is reportedly running the numbers on the viability of combining some of its Australian coal operations with mines run by Rio Tinto.
According to Bloomberg reports, two people close to the matter said GlencoreXstrata and Rio have held initial talks on ways to share site infrastructure as a way to cut operational costs.
But there is no certainty an agreement will be reached, one of the people who wish to remain unnamed said.
Both miners are undergoing cost saving plans, with Rio aiming to cut $5 billion in costs and GlencoreXstrata working towards delivering more than $500 million in cost savings through an integration plan.
Glencore merged with Xstrata in April in a $US34 billion all-share acquisition deal making it the biggest mining company in the world.
The reports come as Rio is expected to offload a number of coal assets shortly, including 29 per cent of its 80 per cent stake in Coal & Allied, and the company’s majority stake in Clermont mine.