Rail operator Aurizon and Chinese steelmaker Baosteel Resources have launched a $1.42 billion bid for West Australian iron ore miner Aquila Resources.

The deal would see the two companies acquire Aquila and its 50 per cent stake in the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project. Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge said the plan was to split the project’s operations into a mining company and an infrastructure company to be operated by Aurizon. He…