Rio Tinto has raised a further US$761 million towards its multi-billion dollar debt level by selling a major US coal asset.
Rio has signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell its Jacobs Ranch coal mine in Wyoming to Arch Coal.
According to Rio Tinto chief financial officer Guy Elliott, the deal shows Rio is still able to obtain good prices during the economic downturn.
“The sale of Jacobs Ranch is a further illustration of the high quality of our assets and the strong value we are able to obtain for shareholders,” he said.
“This brings the total asset sales announced this year to US$2.5 billion.”
This is in addition to the almost US$3 billion in asset sales Rio raised in 2008.
The coal sale comes after Rio sold its interest in the Ningxia aluminium smelter in China for $US125 million and its potash assets and Brazilian iron ore operation for $US1.6 billion in late January.
Rio said it would continue to seek to sell the remainder of its US thermal coal business, which has been valued as high as US$2.23 billion.