Rio Tinto has formalised a joint venture with Minmetals to explore for mineral deposits in China, and later globally.
The two companies signed a technical collaboration contract last November, committing them to the exploration partnership.
An immediate priority for the JV will be mineral targets in China identified under the agreement. The collaboration will expand to the exploration of global resources in the future.
Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the formalisation of the JV was an important milestone in the company’s growing partnership with China and Minmetals.
“Our complementary strengths in exploration put us in the best possible position to find metals and minerals essential to human progress,” Jacques said.
According to a Rio statement, the registered capital for the JV will be $US31.3 million, with contributions of $US5.5 million by each party within six months of the partnership being established.
Guo Wenqing, president of state-owned China Minmetals Corp, said the collaboration was very significant.
“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,” Wenqing said.
Jacques and Wenqing witnessed the signing of the JV yesterday.