Murchison Metals Ltd, an Australian iron ore prospector, said on Friday it was not in talks to be taken over by Chinese firm Sinosteel Corp.

Murchison, which is worth about $1.9 billion, issued a response to the Australian stock exchange inquiring about the stock's sharply fluctuating price. Recently, Sinosteel announced that it had acquired a 2.4 percent stake in Murchison.

The company has not been contacted by, and is not in discussions with, Sinosteel Corporation in respect of a possible takeover bid, Murchison said in a statement.

Sinosteel, a state-owned company, has been looking to acquire businesses in Australia, including junior iron ore miner Midwest Corp. In March, it launched a hostile bid of $1.2 billion, or $5.60 per share for the company.