Australia's competition regulator has granted a group of junior iron ore miners the right to collectively bargain for access to the Western Australian railways of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU), Rio Tinto Ltd. (RTP) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG.AU).

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued Thursday a draft determination granting the members of the North West Iron Ore Alliance the right to collectively negotiate terms and conditions for haulage and access to the rail networks of the three bigger miners.

"Participation is voluntary for both iron ore producers and the service providers," the ACCC said in a statement.

The ACCC is continuing to seek submissions from interested parties ahead of a final decision on the matter.

The North West Iron Ore Alliance is made up of Atlas Iron Ltd. (AGO.AU), Brockman Resources Ltd. (BRM.AU) and FerrAus Ltd. (FRS.AU).

-By Alex Wilson, Dow Jones Newswires; 61-3-9292-2094; alex.wilson@dowjones.com

 
 
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