Anglo American Plc is looking at possible iron ore joint ventures or acquisition opportunities in Australia, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

Nothing is imminent but we are looking at joint ventures and acquisition opportunities, Paul Caghill, head of group business development for Asia Pacific and Australasia for Anglo American, told Reuters.

Earlier this month, the mining giant said it sold its remaining 11.3 percent stake in South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti for around $1.3 billion.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 5th Annual Asia Mining Congress 2009, Caghill said it was likely to be a very difficult year in the iron ore market, with conditions next year also tough.

Right now there are very difficult price negotiations going on between consumers and producers which are likely to see a significant reduction in the price of iron ore compared to last year.

But in the long term we think it is a good business to be in, driven by the economic forces in China in particular and India to follow. (Reporting by Sambit Mohanty; Writing by Michael Urquhart, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved