Russia-China Bridge to Help Aricom

Russia and China have signed a deal paving the way for construction of the first railway bridge between the countries, creating a potential supply route for iron ore produced by British and Russian miner Aricom.

Aricom CEO Jay Hambro said the bridge across the Amur River would allow the company to save almost $40 million in annual freight costs associated with delivering iron ore to the Chinese border.

"It will give us a circa $4 saving on every ton of material that goes across the border," Hambro said.

He said Aricom was also considering taking part in the project to build the bridge.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, visiting Moscow on Tuesday, oversaw the signing of several deals.

The agreement to build the bridge gives the green light to authorities in the Jewish autonomous district and the Chinese province of Heilongjiang to proceed with construction of the project, previously estimated at $200 million.

"The next step will be a formal tender process," Hambro said.