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Rio Tinto announces intention to divest shareholding in Palabora


Rio Tinto has informed the Board of Palabora Mining Company Limited (Palabora) of its intention to divest its 57.7 per cent effective shareholding in the company and has initiated a commercial process to sell its shareholding.

Palabora’s principal asset is a copper mine in South Africa, which has a current mine life until early 2016. Studies are underway for a potential extension of the mine’s life to 2030 but it is no longer of sufficient scale to fit with Rio Tinto’s strategy. Palabora also owns a magnetite stockpile and the future of value creation at Palabora is likely to involve beneficiation of the magnetite through on-site processing, an activity that is outside Rio Tinto’s strategic focus.

Rio Tinto Copper chief executive Andrew Harding said "Rio Tinto is no longer the natural owner of Palabora due to the limited opportunity to significantly expand copper mining. We believe Palabora has a solid future under an owner who can develop the magnetite business alongside the existing copper and vermiculite operations.

“In the meantime Rio Tinto will continue to focus on running the operations efficiently and safely. We will continue engaging with employees, the South African Government and other stakeholders as the sale process develops and to ensure a smooth transition to a new owner”.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.


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