Beijing's Chinalco and Australia's Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) will
explore mainland China for world-class mineral deposits under a
joint venture (JV) formalised today. The JV is subject to Chinese
regulatory approvals and once established will operate under the
name Chinalco Rio Tinto Exploration Co. Ltd. (
Chinalco president Xiong Weiping and Rio Tinto chief executive
Tom Albanese executed the joint venture contract on Wednesday
during a signing ceremony in Beijing, the Australian company said
in a statement. The immediate priority for CRTX will be copper
exploration, with coal and potash among other commodities
potentially considered at a later date.
Chinalco president Xiong Weiping said: "Access to natural
resources is a critical component to many of the world's leading
economies. Drawing on the respective strengths of both companies,
this exploration JV could potentially create commodity supplies
to benefit the global economy."
Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said: "The
formalisation of our exploration JV is an important milestone in
the expanding relationship between Rio Tinto and China. Given
that mainland China is highly prospective, the JV has the
potential to create valuable opportunities for both
Both parties believe the JV is an excellent opportunity as it
aligns with initiatives from the Ministry of Land and Resources
that potentially allow selected explorers access to prospective
areas in various parts of China.
CRTX combines business expertise from a leading Chinese
company with leading-edge technologies and global mining and
exploration experience from one of the world's top miners.
Chinalco will hold a 51 percent interest in the JV and Rio
Tinto will hold a 49 pe cent interest.
Chinalco will nominate three directors including the chairman
plus the chief financial officer, deputy general manager and
compliance supervisor. Rio Tinto will appoint two directors and
the general manager, who will be responsible for day-to-day
operations. It is expected the CRTX headquarters will be in
Today's announcement follows the December 2010 signing of a
non-binding Memorandum of Understanding by Chinalco and Rio Tinto
to establish an exploration joint venture in China.
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