Rio Tinto looking to invest more in Africa

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Rio Tinto's chief said Wednesday the mining giant was looking to spend more heavily in Africa despite not yet making a profit on billions of dollars of investments there over the past five years.

Chief executive Tom Albanese told a Commonwealth business forum in Perth attended by delegates from a range of African countries that his company had not invested enough across the resource-rich continent in recent years.

"I have long had the belief that Rio Tinto has under-invested in Africa and also that Africa itself is under-explored for natural resources," Albanese said.

"And that actually it has much, much more potential to continue to deliver product and valuable material and valuable exports to world markets."

Albanese said Rio Tinto had spent more investing in mines across Africa over the past five years than it had received from those projects, but was confident of healthy returns.

"We do have to make money ultimately and you do have to return monies to the investor, and that gets to the essence of why we want to invest in Africa," he said.

On a global scale, the Anglo-Australian giant reported in August a net profit of US$7.6 billion in the first half of this year due to strong Asian demand for its commodities.

© 2011 AFP

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