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All clear for Rio Tinto-Chalco JV

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Rio Tinto and the Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) have cleared regulatory hurdles to go ahead with their joint venture to develop the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, Rio Tinto announced on Wednesday April 25.

A consortium led by Chalco has made an earn-in payment of $1.35 billion, in line with an agreement reached with Rio Tinto in March 2010.

Rio Tinto controls a 53% stake in the joint venture while the Chalco consortium holds a 47% interest. This translates into 50.35% and 44.65% interests, respectively, in the Simandou project.

The remaining 5% is held by the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank.

The government of Guinea retains its option to participate in the project and is expected to take up its first share in the near future.

The first shipment of iron ore from Simandou, which has one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of high-grade iron ore, is expected by mid-2015, Rio Tinto said in April 2011

editorial@metalbulletinasia.com

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