Rio Tinto edges closer to Grasberg deal

Rio Tinto has confirmed that PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) is interested in buying its share in the Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia.

Media reports have suggested that Rio Tinto is ready to accept a $3.5 billion deal for its interest in the Grasberg operation.

Rio Tinto today confirmed that discussions with Inalum and owner-operator Freeport-McMoRan are ongoing, including the price of the deal.

“No agreement has been reached, and there is no certainty that binding agreements will be signed,” Rio Tinto stated.

Rio Tinto has a joint venture arrangement at Grasberg for a 40 per cent share of production above a certain level until 2021, and 40 per cent of all production after 2021.

Grasberg, which is in the Papua province of Indonesia, is recognised as one of the world’s largest copper-gold mines in terms of reserves and production.

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