Sinosteel Corp has launched a US$1.1 billion bid for Australian mining company Midwest Corp in what is seen as an attempt to gain access to scare iron ore supplies, Reuters reported. The all-cash offer marks the first time a Chinese firm has made a hostile approach for a firm in Australia’s mining sector. Sinosteel already has a 19.9% stake in Midwest and says it has already received approval for the bid from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board. The offer is pitched at A$5.60 (US$5.29) a share, a 35% premium on Midwest’s closing price on Thursday. Shares in the company rose more than 31% on Friday after news of the bid emerged. The offer must be backed by at least 50.1% of shareholders in order to go through. A similar bid failed last month.