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THE biggest investment deal in both Australian and Chinese corporate histories has collapsed, with Rio Tinto expected overnight to withdraw its board support for a $US19.5 billion investment from Chinalco.
The shock end to the controversial deal will spare the Rudd Government the political and diplomatic headache of whether to accept or block the deal on national interest grounds.
But it will spark a major spat between the Anglo-Australian miner and the Chinese aluminium giant, with Chinalco demanding that Rio pay a $US195 million break fee.