Guinea: Rio Tinto-Chinalco talks over our heads

The Australian mining corporation Rio Tinto and Chinalco are in talks to co-develop Guinea mine reports the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the global marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers on their official website.

I would like to recall that the actual Guinean government is a transition one and theu sould not be authorized to be involved in long term committment.

Here is the statement issued on March, 22nd by the Chinese corporation:

« Australian mining company Rio Tinto is in advanced talks with Aluminum Corp of China to jointly develop the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, one of the most mineral- and metal-rich countries in Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter as saying.

The report said that a possible cooperation with Chinalco could offset some of the future development costs of the mine. At present, Rio Tinto is spending around US$10 million per month to develop and explore the iron ore mine, which will cost an estimated US$6 billion in total.

The negotiations are apparently seeking an exchange of intelligence on how to develop mining projects in the West African country, rather than Chinalco selling iron ore, according to the report.

Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis said on Monday in the firm’s annual report that the Australian company would try to strengthen its relationship with Chinalco and to look for business opportunities that will be of mutual benefit.

Media reports said earlier that Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese will meet executives of Chinalco during a trip to China in late March to discuss the possibility of setting up a JV with the Chinese firm. »

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