UPDATE 1.10pm: Chinese steel maker Baosteel has lifted its stake in Aquila Resources from 15 per cent to nearly 20 per cent, giving the iron ore hopeful's share price a modest boost.
Baosteel has bought 19 million extra shares in Aquila (4.6 per cent), taking advantage of its weak trading price.
The Chinese steelmaking giant picked up its initial stake in Aquila in 2009 and already has a representative on the company's board.
Aquila said it welcomed Baosteel's increased shareholding and viewed it as a sign of continued support for the development of the company's flagship West Pilbara iron ore project and broader appreciation of the value that its current share price represents.
"With over $500 million in cash and liquids, a high quality portfolio of assets and the Eagle Downs hard coking coal project under construction, the company remains well positioned to capitalise on China's ongoing demand for steel making raw materials," Aquila said in a statement.
Aquila shares were up four cents, or 1.89 per cent, to $2.15 shortly before the close.