Archive | Rio Tinto

Mongolia, overseas investigators probe Oyu Tolgoi corruption claims as ex-minister re-arrested – by Munkhchimeg Davaasharav and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – January 29, 2019)

ULAANBAATAR/LONDON (Reuters) – Mongolia is working with overseas investigators to look into claims of corruption at its giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, the country’s anti-graft body said on Tuesday, after the re-arrest of a former minister suspected of “abuse of power”.

Bayartsogt Sangajav was first arrested last April and released in June in a probe into 2009 negotiations over the development of the mine, then owned by Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines and now managed by Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. Bayartsogt, a former finance minister, was among the signatories to the investment agreement, approved by Mongolia’s parliament.

Munkhtungalag Tumur, a spokeswoman with the country’s Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), told Reuters it was now conducting a thorough financial investigation into the allegations that would be international in scope. She did not identify with which other countries the IAAC was collaborating. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto, Mongolia sign power deal for Oyu Tolgoi copper mine – by Barbara Lewis and Munkhchimeg Davaasharav (Reuters U.S. – December 31, 2018)

LONDON/ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Rio Tinto and Mongolia have signed a deal for the supply of power to the miner’s giant copper mine extension at Oyu Tolgoi by mid-2023, with both sides saying the framework agreement marked a step forward after a protracted dispute.

The Oyu Tolgoi project is central to Rio Tinto’s push to diversify its portfolio away from iron ore, but it has faced a series of challenges as Mongolia’s fragile government wrangles over how to maximize benefits for the country.

First production at the $5.3 billion underground expansion located near the southern border with China is scheduled for early next decade, creating one of the world’s biggest copper suppliers. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto approves $3.5b iron ore mine in the Pilbara – by Cole Latimer, Hamish Hastie & Nathan Hondros (Sydney Morning Herald – November 29, 2018)

Mining giant Rio Tinto has approved a $US2.6 billion ($3.5 billion) investment in its futuristic Koodaideri iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The mine will be one of Rio Tinto’s most heavily automated operations, featuring robotic trains and advanced analytics as well as 3D reconstructions of the operation to help train new miners in simulated conditions.

“Koodaideri is a game-changer for Rio Tinto. It will be the most technologically advanced mine we have ever built and sets a new benchmark for the industry in terms of the adoption of automation and the use of data to enhance safety productivity,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto sells African uranium mine to China – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – November 27, 2018)

SYDNEY — Global mining behemoth Rio Tinto will sell its stake in a uranium mine in Namibia to a Chinese state-owned player for up to $106.5 million in the latest move to focus on such resources as iron ore and aluminum.

Rio Tinto said on Nov. 26 that it has agreed to sell a 68.62% interest in Rossing Uranium, the owner of the Rossing mine, to China National Uranium Corp., a unit of China National Nuclear Corp. The transaction is slated to complete in the first half of 2019, following approval from the Namibian government. The sale price will be linked to such factors as uranium spot prices.

Rio Tinto has held the stake since the 1960s, when development on the mine began. Output there accounts for 48% of the company’s total production of uranium, an element used as fuel for nuclear power generation. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto leads copper charge into Western Australia’s Paterson region – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A hive of mine exploration activity is underway in a remote corner of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, led by Rio Tinto Ltd, which has boosted its holdings 10-fold in the little explored Paterson province in the past year.

Rio’s interest in the area – flagged by its application for nearly 30 exploration licenses – has sparked a stampede into adjacent lots by other explorers, who see Rio’s aggressive activity as an indicator of a highly promising find.

Interest was further intensified by the global mining giant’s recent application to build an airstrip in Paterson – roughly halfway between Perth and Darwin, indicating it’s in for the long haul. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto joins race for Teck’s copper project stake: sources – by Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – November 14, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is among parties making a final offer for a minority stake in Teck Resources Ltd’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion in northern Chile, a development worth $4.8 billion, two sources close to the matter said.

The world’s second largest mining company is eager to boost its copper assets, with the metal viewed in the industry as having one of strongest outlooks. Existing reserves are dwindling and increased electrification means demand is likely to be strong.

Canada’s Teck (TECKb.TO) (TECK.N) has said a development partner could contribute $2 billion for a 30 percent to 40 percent stake in the copper project, an investment deal it expects to close in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading →

We won’t wake up tomorrow as Microsoft, but how will we pioneer the mining industry into the 21st Century? – by Jean-Sébastien Jacques, CEO Rio Tinto Group (IMARC Conference Melbourne, Australia – October 30, 2018)

“But I hate to tell you, our industry is one of the least trusted on the
planet. And unfortunately, it is a mainstream idea. You only have to take
a look at how mining is portrayed in the Avatar movie. What the heck?
And it makes me sad – or, depending on the day, mad.”

“And you know what, we need to use 21st century channels to communicate.
Today, who you are on social media is who you are to stakeholders.
That’s how they know us. So the culture we project online is incredibly important.”

“It is essential to make mining an attractive industry for the employees
we have now and those that we need to attract to thrive going forward.
The war for some of our talent is going to be fought with the likes
of Google, Facebook and other industries.”

**Check against delivery**

It’s great to be here in Melbourne to open IMARC. This is an important event, at an important time.

As an entire industry, we need to transform to stay relevant in the 21st century. There is absolutely no doubt about it, we have a long, proud history. But as we gather here today, we have a great chance to focus on our future.

Let’s open our minds to how we re-invent our industry, but before I say more let me acknowledge that we meet today on the lands of the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people. Our industry works with Indigenous groups from the Pilbara to the far corners of Mongolia, and I would like to thank all of our
partners and Traditional Owners for making what we do possible. Continue Reading →

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”. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto completing the mining ‘circle of life’ – by Jasen Lee ( – October 23, 2018)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 30 years ago, the first gold was mined in Barney’s Canyon near the site of the world’s largest open pit mining operation.

Since then, the mine has completed its life cycle, and Rio Tinto Kennecott is restoring the site to resemble the state nature originally intended — at a cost of over $50 million.

Located on the east slope of the Oquirrh Mountains, 5 miles north of the Bingham Canyon Mine, the Barney’s Canyon Mine operated from 1989 to 2013 and produced more than 2 million ounces of gold, according to Steve Schnoor, reclamation manager for Rio Tinto Kennecott. Toward the end of the life cycle, the company began transitioning to the reclamation process, he said, in preparation for the eventual discontinuation of active mining. Continue Reading →

Aussie iron miners struggle to keep pace with Vale – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – October 16, 2018)

Australian iron ore miners have struggled to keep pace with Brazilian miner Vale, with BHP and Fortescue expected to follow in Rio Tinto’s footsteps by reporting softer exports of the steelmaking ingredient in recent months.

Rio confirmed on Tuesday that maintenance disruptions and the death of an employee had contributed to weaker than expected iron ore exports in the three months to September 30, and data from Port Hedland suggests its tenants (BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, Mineral Resources and Atlas Iron) exported six per cent less iron ore in the period compared to the previous quarter.

BHP is scheduled to confirm its iron ore exports on Wednesday morning, with RBC predicting its Australian division shipped 72 million tonnes in the three months to September 30. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto owes Sam Walsh $28m, the time has come to pay or explain why not – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – October 15, 2018)

The final weeks of November will deliver Rio Tinto’s board the opportunity to right what looks, for all the world, like a reputation-scarring wrong forced on the man who did so much to recover the miner’s financial standing.

One of the most immediate and delicate of the legacy issues facing Rio Tinto’s relatively new chairman, Simon Thompson, is whether or not to pay former chief executive Sam Walsh.

Now, you might wonder why the current chairman has any level of influence over the remuneration of an executive who left the business before Thompson joined the board and a full 19 months before the suave Oxon assumed the mantle of long-time Rio chairman, Jan du Plessis? Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto pushes Grasberg deal closure into 2019 – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – September 30, 2018)

Rio Tinto could be waiting up to nine months for the proceeds of its Grasberg copper divestment to flow through, despite clearing a significant hurdle on the transaction in recent days.

Indonesian state-owned company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) signed binding agreements with Rio and its partner Freeport McMoran to reshape the ownership structure of the mine, under a deal that will give Inalum majority ownership and Rio $US3.5 billion in cash proceeds.

But the “binding” deals were said to be conditional on further approvals, including from anti-trust regulators in several nations. Continue Reading →

Power plant delays fuel tensions over Rio’s giant Mongolia copper mine – by Barbara Lewis and Munkhchimeg Davaasharav (Reuters U.S. – September 13, 2018)

LONDON/ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Nearly 10 years on from the launch of a giant copper and gold project in Mongolia, Rio Tinto is still looking to secure a domestic power source it needs for the mine under an agreement with the government.

Oyu Tolgoi, located in the South Gobi region near landlocked Mongolia’s southern border with China, is scheduled to complete a $5.3 billion underground expansion for first production by 2020, creating one of the world’s biggest copper suppliers.

The project, launched in 2009 and 34 percent-controlled by Mongolia, is set to transform the country’s tiny economy, and is also key for Rio as the biggest potential growth area for its copper business. But it has been beset by squabbles over cost overruns and claims of unpaid taxes. Continue Reading →

‘Let me buy Rio Tinto’: China’s brazen bid to buy our companies – by Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Post – September 11, 2018)

Within two days of being sworn in as the 38th Treasurer of Australia, Joe Hockey found himself in a traditional-style hut on the island of Bali. Chinese officials had been back and forth to the hut again and again to arrange to the last detail the meeting that Hockey was about to have with China’s finance minister.

But when Lou Jiwei entered, Hockey was utterly unprepared for his opening words. Lou shook the Australian’s hand, sat down, lit a cigarette without asking Hockey’s permission and said: “Why won’t you let me buy Rio Tinto?” the giant Anglo-Australian mining conglomerate.

It was Hockey’s first meeting with his Chinese counterpart, once ranked by Forbes magazine as the 30th most powerful person on earth. Recovering from his surprise, Hockey replied: “That’s fine – as long as you’ll let Qantas buy China Southern”, one of the Middle Kingdom’s big three airlines. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Rio Tinto celebrates opening of new diamond pipe at Diavik (August 20, 2018)

YELLOWKNIFE, Aug. 20, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Rio Tinto today celebrated the opening of a fourth diamond pipe, known as A21, at the remote subarctic Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

The new open pit pipe will provide an important source of incremental supply over the next four years to sustain production levels at the Rio Tinto operated mine.

The Honourable Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment with the Government of the Northwest Territories was guest of honour at the celebration attended by Indigenous community representatives, joint venture partners and Rio Tinto employees. Continue Reading →