Chinalco JV Gets Business Nod

   Date:2011-11-28     Source:puchangpingqulina

Chinalco Rio Tinto Exploration Co, a joint venture between Aluminum Corp of China and Australia's Rio Tinto, has obtained business registration for mineral exploration in China, according to Rio Tinto's Beijing office.

The JV will initially focus on exploring copper and plans to expand into coal and potash, Rio Tinto said in a statement yesterday.

The statement did not provide a timetable for the JV to start exploration and did not mention any specific project.

Chinalco, as China's top aluminum producer is known, has a controlling 51 percent stake in the JV and Rio Tinto, one of the world's three largest iron ore suppliers, holds the rest.

The two sides signed an agreement in June to form the JV. It will help enhance China's domestic resource supply capabilities, said Wang Dongsheng, the venture's chairman. China is the world's largest copper consumer and about 50 percent of its copper supplies rely on imports.

The tie-up was recognized as a major milestone in the expanding partnership between the two companies after Rio Tinto's ties with China were strained in 2009 partly due to the rejection of Chinalco's US$19.5 billion deal for Rio Tinto and the arrest of four Rio Tinto staff on bribery and commercial spying charges.

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