Yarwun decision can wait, Chinalco

Chinalco will wait to make an investment decision regarding Rio's Yarwun alumina refinery.

Chinalco will wait until federal Treasurer Wayne Swan makes a decision on its $24.4 billion deal with Rio Tinto before making an investment decision on the miner’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Queensland.

On Monday Rio Tinto agreed to extend Chinalco’s original deadline of May 31.

“Chinalco now has until June 15 to confirm its participation in the funding,” Rio said in a statement.

“The expansion project is now 29% complete.”

The decision to extend the deadline for Chinalco’s investment decision on its Queensland alumina interests seems to indicate Swan will soon make any approval of Rio deal highly conditional on the bauxite leases.

The Australian Shareholders’ Association said the Rio-Chinalco investment deal is “inequitable” to shareholders and may give the Chinese company undue influence.

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