Rio Tinto, Anglo American exit South African copper mine

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Mining giants Rio Tinto and Anglo American on Monday announced plans to sell their stakes in peer Palabora, whose main asset is a copper mine in South Africa.

Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto will sell its 57.7-percent holding in the South African group and global miner Anglo American is to offload its interest worth 16.8 percent, with both companies citing the mine's limited opportunity for the exits.

"Palaboras principal asset is a copper mine in South Africa ... and, while studies are under way for a potential extension to the copper mine's life from 2016 to 2030, the operation is no longer of a sufficient scale to suit Anglo American's investment strategy," the Anglo-South African group said in a statement.

Andrew Harding, head of Rio Tinto's copper operations said: "Rio Tinto is no longer the natural owner of Palabora due to the limited opportunity to significantly expand copper mining."

© 2011 AFP

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