Adriana Resources reached a joint venture agreement with a unit of China's Wuhan Iron and Steel Co Ltd on Monday in the latest in a series of deals in Canada's iron mining sector.

WISCO will pay C$120 million for a 60 percent stake in a joint venture company to develop Adriana's Lac Orelnuk and December Lake iron ore properties in northern Quebec and help with future financing costs.

WISCO will also receive shares representing a nearly 20 percent stake in Adriana though a private placement.

Although the deal was announced after the close of Canadian markets on Monday, Adriana's shares on the TSX Venture Exchange had jumped more than 17 percent during the day before they were halted pending a news announcement.

Shares of Adriana Resources have nearly quadrupled in the past two months, hitting a high of C$1.70 on Monday on the TSX Venture Exchange, before being halted at C$1.63, well up from a close of 43.5 Canadian cents on Nov. 17.

News reports began circulating in November that Adriana and Wuhan, China's third-largest steel producer, were in talks.

Acquisition activity among Canadian iron ore miners has heated up in recent months. On Friday, ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron Ore ended a months-long bidding war for Baffinland Iron Mines with a joint bid valuing the explorer at C$590 million.

Earlier last week, Cliffs Natural Resources bid C$4.1 billion for Canadian junior miner Consolidated Thompson , which owns an operating iron mine in the Labrador Trough region of Canada.

Wuhan currently owns a 19.2 percent stake in Consolidated and has offtake agreements with the miner.

Adriana needs about C$6 billion to develop its Lac Otelnuk project in the same region.

Iron ore is all about infrastructure and their deposit is quite a distance away from anything, said Jennings Capital analyst Peter Campbell of the project's steep price tag.

Chinese steel mills, consuming around 70 percent of seaborne ore, have been keen to invest in foreign ore resources to better control prices.

Iron ore prices, delivered to China, have recently risen to over $170 a tonne and are nearing record highs set in 2008.