Rio Tinto and Chinese metals and mineral trading company Minmetals have agreed to establish a 50:50 joint venture to explore for world-class mineral deposits in China.
The joint venture, subject to regulatory approval, will have a registered capital of US$31.3 million with each party to initially contribute US$5.5 within 6 months of the establishment of the joint venture.
Under the agreement, any further capital contributions will be subject to unanimous approval of both Rio Tinto and Minmetals and linked to agreed target areas.
Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said the deal follows a Technical Collaboration Contract signed in November 2017 when both parties committed to a collaborative partnership in mineral exploration.
“The formalisation of the exploration joint venture is an important milestone in our growing partnership with China and Minmetals, who is an increasingly important player in the global mining industry,” Mr Jacques stated.
“Our complementary strengths in exploration put us in the best possible position to find metals and minerals essential to human progress.”
China Minmetals Corporation president, Guo Wenqing, said the joint venture will initially focus on exploring the mineral targets in China that were identified under the Technical Collaboration Agreement, before expanding to exploration of global resources.
“The collaboration is very significant to Minmetals,” Mr Wenqing added.
“Rio Tinto has rich prospecting experience and great discoveries worldwide, while Minmetals has solid technical expertise and extensive experience – the two strong partners will drive breakthroughs, pioneer progress, and promote the exchanges and collaboration of the global resource industry.”