Rio Ends Quest for China Mine Riches With Biggest Holder – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2017)

Rio Tinto Group and its largest shareholder Aluminum Corp. of China have terminated their joint venture established to find copper deposits, as global mining companies tighten exploration budgets.

Chinalco Rio Tinto Exploration Co., a joint venture between Rio and Aluminum Corp., also known as Chinalco, was launched in 2011 to seek out deposits in China and had plans to expand its search to coal and potash.

“The joint venture exploration company has ceased operation and entered the liquidation phase,” Chinalco said in an e-mailed statement.

Rio has discontinued exploration work in China, India and Mexico, the producer said Tuesday in a quarterly update on its operations. Rio didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional detail.

The venture, 51 percent-owned by the Chinese company, had concentrated on the northern Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang provinces, according to Rio filings. The JV had about 30 full-team staff, led by an executive based in Beijing, according to details on Rio’s website.

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