Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh says Andrew Forrest’s call to limit iron ore production to support prices is a “nonsense” and “hairbrained” scheme.
“I don’t know what Andrew was thinking,” Mr Walsh told a Minerals Council of Australia function in Melbourne.
“We absolutely do not support it. We believe in fair and open trade.”
Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals, says he’s not retreating from his suggestion that the major iron ore miners put a ceiling on production.
He made the call during a talk at a function in Shanghai on Tuesday night.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating whether Forrest breached anti-competition laws in his comments.
Forrest says his competitors, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, are throwing more tonnes into a glutted iron ore marketplace.
Iron ore prices have been falling over the last 12 months from more than $100 a tonne to about $55 a tonne.