Rio Tinto has announced that it has completed the US$850 million sale of its undeveloped potash assets to Brazilian mining company Vale.
The sale, made up of the Potasio Rio Colorado project in Argentina and the Regina exploration assets in Canada, is part of a larger deal with Vale that includes the sale of Rio’s Corumba iron ore mine in Brazil.
Cash considerations for the Corumba mine total US$750 million.
The sale is part of Rio’s plan to reduce its debt level by US$10 billion over 2009.
“This is a very positive step towards meeting our commitment to reduce debt,” Rio Tinto chief financial officer Guy Elliot said.
“This transaction demonstrates the depth and quality of our asset portfolio and our ability to unlock value for shareholders despite tough credit markets and economic conditions.”
According to Rio, the company hopes to have the Corumba deal to be completed in the second half of 2009.