A global business perspective on managing for growth in a volatile international environment – by Rio Tinto Chairman – Jan du Plessis (November 4, 2011)

Location: Australian Institute of Company Directors – Sydney, Australia

Jan du Plessis – Rio Tinto Chairman

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is a real pleasure to be with you today. 

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we have gathered on today, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to elders past and present.

I first visited Sydney in November 1991 and, over the course of several subsequent visits, fell in love with the place.  Twenty years later, having travelled around the world more than I care to remember, I still believe this is the most beautiful city in the world. 

Now, before anybody says Sydney is not Australia, let me assure you that over the last two-and-a-half years since becoming Chairman of Rio Tinto, I have seen quite a lot of your country.  And my visits have not been confined to stopping over in most of your major cities.  I have visited several coal mines and (I confess) vineyards in the Hunter Valley;  more coal mines in Queensland; and paid visits to our alumina refineries, aluminium smelters and other facilities in and around Gladstone. 

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The Right Footing: Rio Tinto Alcan and the Haisla First Nation – by David Hicks (The Global Commodities Report – October 2011)

Published by New Vanguard Media, The Global Commodities Report is a digital magazine about the benefits of resource business.

The Kitimat aluminum smelter was built smack in the middle of the claimed traditional territory of the Haisla First Nation back in the oblivious 1950s. With a $2.5 billion upgrade in the works, it was time to re-engineer the social relationship as well.

A long overdue formal agreement, called the “Haisla Nation – Rio Tinto Alcan Legacy Agreement”, has been achieved between Rio Tinto Alcan, the owner and operator of the aluminum smelter at Kitimat, British Columbia, and the Haisla First Nation, both of whom reside at the headwaters of the Douglas Channel in northwestern BC.

While the first relationship protocol and series of meetings between the parties began just over a decade ago, the current relationship took work, but both parties ratified the 30-year renewable agreement in support of the aluminum operations at Kitimat.

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Iron ore the latest commodity to slide – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – October 21, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Iron ore was the one commodity left largely unscathed in the recent market rout, until now. The price of the key industrial commodity, which is used to make steel, has slumped in recent weeks and is expected to keep dropping as demand falls on a weakening Chinese economy and fallout from the European debt crisis.

Steel mills have been cutting iron ore purchases as they curb production, while major iron ore producers such as BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto PLC move forward with plans to ramp up output of the mineral.

The combination of lower demand and increased supply is putting pressure on iron ore prices, which had held steady even as other key industrial metals such as copper and aluminum were in freefall.

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Rio Tinto hiring hundreds of workers in Canada because of modernization projects – by Ross Marowits, Canadian Press (Winnipeg Free Press – September 27, 2011)

The Winnipeg Free Press is the oldest newspaper in western Canada and has the largest readership in the province of Manitoba.

MONTREAL – A couple of years after it laid off 14,000 workers around the world, global mining giant Rio Tinto has launched a mini hiring spree in Canada, mainly due to its modernization projects.

The Anglo-Australian company is actively searching to hire more than 210 workers for mining and manufacturing in alumina, aluminum, iron ore, diamonds and titanium dioxide.

“We launched the campaign to help our ongoing recruitment efforts for our modernization and expansion projects,” Rio Tinto spokesman Bryan Tucker said in an email. Rio Tinto employs more than 13,000 people at 35 sites in Canada.

The company has turned to Facebook and YouTube, posting a four-minute promotional video showing operations such as the Diavik Diamond Mine, Iron Ore Company of Canada, Rio Tinto, Fer et Titane, and Rio Tinto Alcan.

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Ivanhoe Mines pushes back at Mongolia over copper mine – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – September 27, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

MINING REPORTER- Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.is battling back against moves by the Mongolian government to secure a larger chunk of the promising Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project, but investors are bailing out.

The Vancouver-based miner said it expects Mongolia to honour a 2009 investment agreement giving the country a 34-per-cent stake in Oyu Tolgoi for 30 years. Ivanhoe holds the remaining 66-per-cent interest. The company’s stock lost about one-fifth of its value on Monday before recovering about half that loss to close.

Ivanhoe shares were already under pressure, falling nearly 20 per cent last week as Mongolia started to signal its interest in upping its stake to as much as 50 per cent.

Ivanhoe said the existing ownership agreement of Oyu Tolgoi is legally binding and “deserves and requires the unqualified support of all parties.” It also warned that revising the deal, signed after six years of negotiations, could harm Mongolia’s reputation as a desirable place to invest.

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Multi-billion dollar investments in our country [Canada] – by Tom Albanese, CEO Rio Tinto (Montreal-April 7, 2011)

Last year, we formed a key strategic partnership with world leading researchers to    create the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction in Sudbury, Ontario. This $10 million initiative will focus on innovative, rapid mine construction, and ground control for mining at depth. The centre has become a key part in our set of five long-term Rio Tinto research centres around the world. (Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – April 7, 2011)

Location: Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Montreal (April 7, 2011)


Bonjour. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you, Michel, for your kind introduction.

What I would like to do today is share with you my view of Rio Tinto’s world. It is a world of strong markets – today with China, tomorrow with India and other parts of the world – and constrained mineral supply. I also want to talk about what it all means for Canada.

Before proceeding though, I must confess that as today’s luncheon drew near, it occurred to me there might be some connection between my scheduled appearances at your functions, and the onset of global turmoil.

I last had the privilege of addressing this audience in late October 2008 when, as I’m sure you recall, we were in the midst of the global financial crisis. To make matters even more challenging, Rio Tinto was also the target of a hostile takeover bid. Notwithstanding my optimism about longer-term trends, the past three years have confirmed we continue to live in an uncertain and volatile world.

Rio Tinto has been through some challenging times. So has the team that I lead. But the challenges met have made for a stronger company, a stronger team, and stronger individuals.

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Rio Tinto’s new [iron ore] opportunities for industry growth – Sam Walsh: Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore & Australia (24 March 2011)

This speech was given by Sam Walsh – Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore & Australia – at the Metal Bulletin Conference, Beijing, China on March 24, 2011.

Thank you Mr Li.

Before I start, I would like to acknowledge the recent tragic events in Japan, as a result of the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami.

The unfolding story has been most graphic and the human, business and social costs just extraordinary.  Many of you here today will have close links with Japan and our sympathies go out to them at this difficult time.

The past year has been a remarkable one, notable not only for the steady emergence from the global financial crisis but also the domestic challenges thrown up by government taxation issues and greenhouse gas schemes. In our business, it is difficult enough to manage the manageable, and with such huge investments of risk capital at stake, it is important to get the policy settings right and then stick to them.

The global scene has also shifted, with several major producers altering their marketing arrangements such that pricing of iron ore moved away from the annual benchmark negotiations we had relied on for many years to a new, not altogether settled quarterly pricing system we have now.

Time will tell if it remains the preferred means of matching buyers with producers while also incentivising sufficient new supply to meet global needs.

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Sudbury’s Mining Reseach Hub Gets $10-Million Rio Tinto Investment – by Nick Stewart

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article was posted on the newspaper website on January 11, 2011.

“While this is a real game-changing technology that’s developing, we still need to
do drill and blast conventional advances, and that has to happen at a higher
speed too.” (Dr. Peter Kaiser, CEMI President and CEO)

Sudbury, Canada turning into Silicon Valley of hardrock mining reseach

A $10-million research effort funded by Rio Tinto and coordinated through the Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation will first be tested at the mining giant’s Northparkes Mine in New South Wales, Australia.

A $10-million investment in one of Sudbury’s major mining research nodes by Rio Tinto in December may well benefit other mining operations in Sudbury and around the North, according to project leaders.

The U.K.-based company’s partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) will target the high-speed construction and development of underground mines and the development of ground support systems.

As the company seeks to rapidly move away from open pits to these new underground environments, Rio Tinto will focus on its own mechanized tunnelling and shaft sinking systems, whose issues are common across many Sudbury-area projects, said CEMI president and CEO Peter Kaiser.

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News Release: Sherritt to acquire a controlling interest in the Sulawesi Nickel Project


Click here to view: Sherritt International Corporation 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

TORONTO, December 1, 2010 – Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: S) today announced it has executed an earn-in and shareholders agreement with a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Limited (“Rio Tinto”) whereby Sherritt will acquire an interest in the Sulawesi Nickel Project (the “Sulawesi Project”) in Indonesia. Subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, Sherritt will acquire a controlling 57.5% equity interest in the holding company that owns the Sulawesi Project, and Rio Tinto will continue to hold the remaining 42.5%. Sherritt has been appointed as the Operator and will license its commercially-proven, proprietary technology to the Project. As consideration for its interest, Sherritt has committed to fund US$110 million towards producing a feasibility study from which a development decision will be made.

In compliance with Indonesia’s Mining Law, local Indonesian interests are expected to acquire a 20% interest in the Project. Following that event, Sherritt and Rio Tinto together will indirectly own and control an 80% interest in the Sulawesi Project, which will give Sherritt a controlling interest and a 46% economic interest with Rio Tinto maintaining a 34% economic interest.

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China Overseas Investment Fair Speech – by Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – November 3, 2010

China’s urbanisation rate is still only 45 per cent, with 50,000 new skyscrapers – we believe – needed by 2025. This urbanisation of the rural population is the largest peacetime mass migration in the history of the world. But we should not forget that we have India, Brazil and many other countries following this development pathway. While growth in China may eventually moderate, other countries will take up the slack. Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – November 3, 2010

Global Resources Distribution: Strategic Options for Resources Investment

Speaker: Tom Albanese, Chief Executive Officer


Thank you for your welcome. I am very happy to be back in China my eighth visit this year, and it is an honour to speak here today.

I would like to take the opportunity to talk about future developments and supply challenges for major global industrial commodities and China’s role within this. In addition, I plan to cover the important role technology and innovation will play in the future of the mining and minerals sector.

Global demand for minerals

Let me now give an overview of global minerals demand and how that affects both our business and the industry. Since the industrial revolution, production and urbanisation has spread progressively around the world. The global consumption of minerals has grown in support of this economic transformation.

Over the last hundred years, we’ve seen average annual growth in global minerals demand of something like 3.5 per cent – roughly equivalent to a doubling of demand every 20 years. In particular, demand growth has risen dramatically for aluminium.

This trend suggests that over the next 20 years we expect to see an extra 3 billion people with incomes reaching $15,000. In contrast, it took 200 years for the first billion people to reach this goal.  Substantial quantities of minerals will be needed to achieve such a transformation in living standards.

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Rio Tinto News Release: Rio Tinto Announces New Global Centre for Underground Mine Construction in [Sudbury] Canada

26 November 2010

Rio Tinto has announced a key strategic partnership in Canada, teaming with world leading researchers to create the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction.

The new Centre will be based at the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury, Ontario, and will focus on innovative rapid mine construction and ground control for mining at depth.

Rio Tinto is investing C$10 million over five years in the centre, completing a suite of five global long term Rio Tinto research centres around the world.

The work with CEMI will assist Rio Tinto’s development of new excavation systems through The Mine of the Future™ programme, focusing on significantly improving the construction and operation of underground mines.

As part of this programme, Rio Tinto will conduct a full scale performance verification trial in 2012 at Northparkes’ copper and gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, as the first of three new underground excavation systems.

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News Release: Rio Tinto Creates A New $10 Million Mining Research Centre at CEMI in Sudbury, Canada

Sudbury, ON – On November 25th, 2010, Rio Tinto announced the establishment of the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction (RTC-UMC) at the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Rio Tinto will be investing $10 million dollars over five years to undertake research at the centre.

Rio Tinto is focusing on mechanized excavation including a shaft boring system (SBS) and tunnel boring systems (TBS). Rio Tinto has selected CEMI as the agent for collaborative research leadership in support of high speed construction associated with underground mine construction. For Rio Tinto, this investment reflects the company’s long term commitment to science, engineering and innovation, and is central to its approach to research partnerships. This is the fifth global long-term research centre to be established by Rio Tinto.

The Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction at CEMI will undertake research with respect to ground and machine performance. For this purpose, prototype test sites will be instrumented to improve ground characterization techniques and to develop innovative support systems to facilitate high speed, mechanized tunnel and shaft development technologies for underground mines in highly stressed ground and at depth.

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Diamonds and Gold – A Common Past, Present and Future – by By Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart is vice-president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues. www.mining.ca

With due respect to cobalt and coal, it is fair to state that diamonds and gold are the world’s two most prestigious minerals.  They are the minerals that hold the deepest emotional meaning among consumers, with traditional and cultural ties to commitment, union, luck, love and marriage.  They are also the minerals that are most indicative of personal wealth, affluence, sophistication and social status.  These two minerals and the corresponding industries have long shared a number of similarities in terms of the surrounding market-drivers, price mark-ups and social pressures.     

For example, the fundamental driver of the global market in both gold and diamonds is jewelry.  According to the World Gold Council, fully 68% of the world’s demand for gold over the past five years was for use in jewelry.  While the delineation is less exact in diamonds, it is estimated that gem-quality diamonds used in jewelry account for over 80% of the value of the world diamond market. 

A second point, and the converse from the above, is to note that the industrial application market for diamonds and gold is relatively modest in size.  Only 14% of world gold demand stems from industrial uses (while the remaining 18% is for investment purposes).  While there are important industrial uses in dental, electronics, medical and environmental fields, and growing potential in nanotechnology, these industrial uses for gold face the challenge of being commercially feasible at raw material price points that are currently well north of $1000 per ounce. 

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Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese London Speech – Mining Issues, A Global View

This speech was given at the Melbourne Mining Club in London, United Kingdom on July 08, 2010. For more information on Rio Tinto, please go to www.riotinto.com 


Thank you for your kind introduction. It is a privilege to be addressing the Melbourne Mining Club here at Lord’s.

As an American, running a company with a strong presence in the two great cricketing nations of England and Australia, I hope you will forgive me for not daring to give you any personal insights into the complex game of cricket.  

With a lexicon including terms such as ‘silly mid off’; ‘googly; ‘fine leg’; and ‘ball tampering’ – I think I’d better stick to the language of mining.

What I want to talk about this evening is a different kind of international contest, the face-off between challenge and opportunity in the global mining industry.

I will start in the present and touch on some of the topical issues of the day including the Mineral Resource Rent Tax. Then I’ll move beyond Rio Tinto’s solid Anglo Australian roots and look outwards to the wider world and the global economy; and then cover what a rapidly changing socio-economic landscape means for our industry.

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Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – Canadian Club of Montreal Speech – Rio Tinto: A world leader in mining and minerals,creating value and opportunity for Quebec and Canada

Tom Albanese - CEO Rio TintoGood afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to begin by thanking the Canadian Club for the invitation to speak here today. I am aware of the long and proud history of this forum, which Rio Tinto Alcan is pleased to support as an associate corporate member.

My visits to Montreal are frequent enough these days that I am beginning to feel very much at home here. Of course, Montreal is home to the global headquarters of our Rio Tinto Alcan product group, and also serves as the Canadian hub for Rio Tinto’s other extensive interests in this country.

Last month, we brought our Board of Directors into town for a regularly scheduled meeting and we also hosted a visit for a group of analysts and institutional investors from Australia, the UK and elsewhere. Aside from the opportunity to sample your famed Montreal hospitality, the visitors were given a first-hand look at our aluminium facilities in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region. I am pleased to report that they
were suitably impressed with the high calibre of our Quebec operations, both existing and planned, — the people and organisation. They gave the visit some glowing reviews.

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