Rio Tinto doubles stake in Richards Bay Minerals through acquisition of BHP Billiton’s interest

01 February 2012

Rio Tinto doubles stake in Richards Bay Minerals through acquisition of BHP Billiton’s interest

pdf Rio Tinto doubles stake in Richards Bay Minerals through acquisition of BHP Billiton’s interest pdf 29 KB - Opens in a new window

Rio Tinto will increase its stake in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) to 74 per cent through the acquisition of BHP Billiton’s 37 per cent interest.

The acquisition has been triggered by BHP Billiton’s decision to exercise a put option agreed between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton as part of RBM’s restructuring in 2009. The final consideration for the acquisition will be determined through a previously agreed valuation process. Completion is subject to regulatory approvals.

RBM is a South African mineral sands mining and processing operation that was established in 1976. Rio Tinto manages RBM and markets its products, including titanium dioxide feedstocks, high purity iron, zircon and rutile. In line with South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation, the remaining 26 per cent of RBM is owned by a consortium of local communities and businesses (24 per cent) and RBM employees (two per cent).

Rio Tinto Diamonds & Minerals chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney said “RBM is an important part of Rio Tinto’s world-class titanium dioxide portfolio. Doubling our stake in the business solidifies our position at a time when the long-term outlook is strong and demand for higher grade titanium dioxide is growing, driven by urbanisation and rising environmental standards.”

Rio Tinto’s global titanium dioxide business, Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium, includes RBM, its wholly-owned Rio Tinto Fer et Titane operation in Quebec; and its QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) operation (80 per cent interest).

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

For further information, please contact:

Media Relations, EMEA / Americas
Illtud Harri
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1152
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 503 600
Tony Shaffer
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1138
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003
Christina Mills
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1154
Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605

Investor Relations, London
Mark Shannon
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1178
Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 576597
David Ovington
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978

Media Relations, Australia / Asia
David Luff
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 850 205
Karen Halbert
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627
Mobile: +61 (0) 412 119 389
Bruce Tobin
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3612
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 103 454

Investor Relations, Australia
Dave Skinner
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309
Christopher Maitland
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3063
Mobile: +61 (0) 459 800 131

Media Relations, Canada
Bryan Tucker
Office: +1 (0) 514 848 8151
Mobile: +1 (0) 514 825 8319

Investor Relations, North America
Jason Combes
Office: +1 (0) 801 204 2919
Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645

Website: www.riotinto.com

Email: media.enquiries@riotinto.com enquiries.mediaaustralia@riotinto.com

Twitter: Follow @riotinto on Twitter

High resolution photographs and media pack available at: www.riotinto.com/media