Rio Tinto sees new-style partnerships as the future – by Barbar Lewis (Reuters U.S. – October 29, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Mining companies must forge new ties with partners from customers to governments as they pursue innovation and compete for talent with technology giants, Rio Tinto’s chief executive said in a speech to be delivered on Tuesday.

The mining industry has recovered from the deep commodity crash of 2015-16, but faces headwinds from U.S.-China trade tensions, which have dented the copper price, and is struggling to win investor trust.

In a copy of a speech to be delivered at a conference in Melbourne on Tuesday, CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said pushing the industry forward calls for “a brand new spirit of partnership”.

“New forms of partnering won’t be just about governments, society and communities. It will also be about partnerships with customers, suppliers and even, competitors,” he will say.

He flagged in the speech Rio’s ties with Apple – with which, together with Alcoa, it announced a partnership to make emissions-free aluminum in May – as “an example of competitors working together to advance the future”.

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