American private equity firm Apollo Global Management has submitted a proposal to buy Rio Tinto’s iron-ore operations in Canada.

Apollo has reached second round of bidding for Rio Tinto’s majority stake in Iron Ore Co. of Canada (IOC), Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the matter.

In early 2013, Rio Tinto appointed investment banks Credit Suisse and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to offload its 59% stake in IOC.

The company had earlier received 13 to 15 initial bids, from which it shortlisted 5-6 suitors. A sale of the unit is expected to raise $2bn-$3.5bn.

Earlier this year, Rio Tinto announced its plans to offload its non-core assets in order to focus on main operations amid decline in prices and low demand.