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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Two of the world's biggest mining companies are vying to takeover the aluminum giant Alcoa according to the Times of London. The paper claims that BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Zinc, known in the U.K. as RTZ are separately preparing to bid for Alcoa. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: BHP & RTZ, both Anglo Australian companies, are both putting together $40 billion bids for Alcoa, according to the Times.

They both have large aluminum operations already and, says the newspaper, with the metal fetching record prices, they both want to expand production.

Alcoa is vulnerable. The company has struggled in recent years and its share price has languished.

But all that will change with two wealthy mining companies on its tail, says analyst Tony Craze.

TONY CRAZE: Alcoa's share price is going to rise very smartly on the back of this news because if it does get into an auction these are two very powerful companies, RTZ and BHP Billiton. Both got a lot of cash. So it's an interesting time for Alcoa.

The company has refused to comment, and neither BHP nor RTZ will confirm the takeover story.

If a $40 billion does emerge, it will be by far the largest in the recent round of mining takeovers.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.