LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Africa, as the largest untapped source of growth in the mining sector, is pivotal in helping Rio Tinto and other resources companies to supply the changing needs of the huge Asian market, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
The comments, delivered at a Bloomberg forum as part of LME Week, is a vote of confidence in Africa, which has suffered from investor caution over political risk and corruption scandals.
“From a mining perspective, Africa is the largest untapped source of growth for our industry,” Bold Baatar, Rio Tinto’s chief executive of energy and minerals, said, according to a copy of his speech.
“This provides us with a huge opportunity. It provides us with the opportunity, in partnership with the east, to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime transformation story of Africa.”
Rio Tinto has strong relationships with China and other Asian customers that buy approximately 70 percent of its products.China’s development required bulk commodities, such as iron ore, but its needs are evolving as it focuses on implementing environmental standards and seeks to lead a shift to electric transport.