Rio Tinto agrees sale of Zululand Anthracite Colliery

10 February 2016

Rio Tinto has reached a binding agreement for the sale of its 74 per cent interest in Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) to Menar Holding, for an undisclosed sum. The remaining 26 per cent of ZAC will continue to be held by its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment partner, Maweni Mining Consortium Pty Ltd.

ZAC, an underground mine in Zululand, South Africa, produces premium quality anthracite for international and domestic customers and has over 1,300 employees and contractors.

The competitive sale process, run in close consultation with a number of stakeholders, has been focused on ensuring the mine's ongoing operation, required capital injection and future viability.

Menar has a proven track record of operating and investing in South Africa through its controlling interest in Canyon Coal, which owns three coal mines in Mpumalanga and other coal projects in Gauteng.

Menar has committed to making a significant investment in the business to ensure the long term sustainability of the mine and associated employment. Until the sale is completed, Rio Tinto will continue to focus on operating the mine safely and remains committed to a smooth transition.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval which is expected in the second half of 2016.

Rio Tinto has a long standing relationship with South Africa and continues to invest in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) and in exploration for other minerals in the country.