Rio Tinto hikes stake in Mongolian mine project
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto said on Monday it would acquire another 5.3 percent of Canada's Ivanhoe Mines as part of its investment in a landmark copper-gold project in Mongolia.
The deal, worth some 400 million dollars (315 million euros), takes Rio Tinto's stake in Ivanhoe Mines to 34.9 percent and was based on the conversion of a loan extended to the Canadian company in 2007, Rio said in a statement.
Rio Tinto took a 9.9 percent stake in Ivanhoe in 2006 under an accord to develop the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia, which allows the Australian company to eventually own up to 46.65 percent of its Canadian partner.
Rio Tinto referred to this possibility again on Monday, saying it was continuing to examine market conditions.
The Oyu Tolgoi project, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Chinese border, is expected to produce 450,000 tonnes of copper and 330,000 ounces of gold annually over 35 years.
© 2010 AFP