Mining giant Rio Tinto is to form a joint venture for exploration in mainland China with Chinese firm Chinalco in the first half of 2011.
Between three and five large area exploration projects are to be selected for initial focus by the joint venture and could be rolled out to other regions at a later date.
Under the terms of the joint venture Chinalco will hold a 51 per cent stake, with Rio Tinto holding the remaining 49 per cent interest.
Tom Albanese, chief executive of Rio Tinto, said, ‘This exploration joint venture is the latest chapter in the rich history of partnerships between Rio Tinto and China.
‘The combination of skills provided by Rio Tinto and Chinalco offers great potential to unlock value for mutual benefit.’
Xiong Weiping, president of Chinalco, said, ‘Against the backdrop of the globalisation of resources supporting the globalisation of the world economy, for both sides to build on our respective strengths and establish an exploration joint venture is a win-win measure that will deepen our cooperation and meet the challenges of the market.’