Rio Tinto has responded to claims the miner is in talks with Aluminum Corp. of China to sell stakes in some units to its largest shareholder in a bid to raise cash and reduce debt.
Media reports suggested the miner had sold its Corumba iron ore mine in Brazil and the Potassio Rio Colorado potash business in Argentina to the world’s largest iron ore producer, Brazil’s Vale.
The miner moved to silence whispers that a $10.5 billion rights issue, or even sale of the equity directly to China’s Chinalco, were imminent after confirming it had secured the asset sales.
Rio Tinto confirmed today that it has been in discussions with Chinalco regarding Chinalco acquiring minority interests in various operating businesses of the Rio Tinto group.
“There can be no certainty that a transaction will ultimately take place and any possible transaction would be conditional upon approval by the shareholders of Rio Tinto and all necessary government and regulatory authorities,” the London-based company said today in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.