Hebei Iron and Steel Group has become the country’s second-largest steelmaker following approval from the securities regulator to merge Tangshan Iron & Steel with Handan Iron & Steel and Chengde Xinxin Vanadium & Titanium, state media reported. The merger is part of Hebei Iron and Steel’s restructuring. The new venture will have an aggregate market value of about US$4 billion and take Hebei Iron and Steel’s annual capacity up to 330 million metric tons. Hebei Iron and Steel will also inject assets of Xuan Steel and Wuyang Steel with Tangshan Iron & Steel one year after the completion of the merger of the three other companies. It is suggested that the consolidation could bulk up China’s bargaining power in negotiations with the three global mining giants, Vale, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto.