Xstrata's merger with Glencore creates resource powerhouse
UPDATE: THE deal is done.
Xstrata joined with the Glencore Group overnight, creating an enormous resources powerhouse under the banner of Glencore Xstrata plc.
Xstrata's Australia office confirmed the agreement went ahead at 9pm on Thursday.
The new Glencore Xstrata will hold an investor conference on Friday at 1pm London time on Friday - or 10pm AEST - with a live webcast on the presentation available on the new www.glencorexstrataplc.com website.
An official change of name from Glencore International to Glencore Xstrata plc is expected to be formalised later today.
2nd May: A MERGER of Swiss mining giants will create a goliath worth $90 billion - but the deal could destroy plans for the massive Wandoan coal mine.
Glencore will join with Xstrata - which has a suite of mining projects throughout Queensland and Australia - to create one of the world's largest resource firms.
But speculation has emerged in the European media that once the pair come together, Glencore will move quickly to axe Xstrata's treasured managers and potentially dump projects that Glencore deems unviable.
One of those could be the $7 billion Wandoan open-cut coal mine in south-west Queensland, although Xstrata's Australian representatives say "nothing has changed" in regard to the ambitious development.
British newspaper The Times reported Glencore was determined to cut up to 60 staff from Xstrata's headquarters in Switzerland, plus hundreds more across its global offices and sites.
Xstrata is likely concerned about the future of Wandoan, which was expected to be the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
In November last year, Xstrata manager Dierdre Mikkelson told a conference it was waiting on a final investment decision but would not discuss whether the impending merger would help or hinder its prospects.
For now, Xstrata must appease a number of Wandoan property owners who took the miner to the Land Court over compensation.
Once resolved, the Queensland Government will give its final decision and the new Glencore-Xstrata will decide whether to go ahead.