Rio hit peak investment in 2012: Walsh

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh says the company hit its peak investment in 2012 and is now focused on building up cash reserves with the sale of non-core assets.

Addressing his first annual meeting as CEO, Walsh told investors the company would be tightening its belt to ensure it got good value for money.


“We are targeting significant cash proceeds from divestments and are reviewing a number of potential non-core assets for divestment, in addition to those we've already announced such as Pacific Aluminium and Diamonds,” he said.


“This will ensure … that we invest only in projects that deliver returns well above our cost of capital.”


Along with selling off assets Walsh said Rio would be focused on reducing operating costs across all of its operations.


The company's chief financial officer Guy Elliott told the meeting there would be plenty of interest in Rio's sales, but the company could not disclose the projects it was considering offloading.


Elliott said competitors, sovereign wealth funds, and Rio's own customers were part of the groups lining up to express interest in the sales.


“There is quite a long list of people who are well financed and able to buy these assets,” he said.

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