Latham & Watkins and Freehills are advising on an Asian consortium’s $3.3 billion acquisition of a 30-percent stake in the Roy Hill project, an iron ore mine in Western Australia. The seller is Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd., the iron ore exploration and development company owned by Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman.

The consortium of investors comprises Korean steelmaker POSCO, which is paying $1.56 billion for a 15-percent stake in the mine; Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp., which is paying $1.56 billion for a 12.5-percent stake; and Korean shipbuilder STX Corp., which is paying $180 million for the other 2.5-percent stake.

The mine, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, aims to start operations in 2014 and to produce up to 55 million tons of iron ore a year.

The consortium is being advised by Freehills, with Melbourne-based partners Shane Kyriakou and Lucy McCullagh leading work on the deal. Last November, the firm also advised Marubeni on a joint takeover of Calgary-based Grande Cache Coal for $967 million in cash.

Latham & Watkins Singapore partner Stephen McWilliams is acting for Hancock Prospecting.

Email: jseah@alm.com