Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rio Tinto seeks ties with China state mills

Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, is seeking more mining partnership with China's state-owned companies to develop mining projects overseas due to the surging demand for raw material.

"Opportunities exist for cooperation in a broad range of areas on a joint venture basis, or something equivalent to that," Rio Tinto's CEO Tom Albanese told sources. China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be "very much in that picture", he said, as Chinese SOEs could be useful in providing capital, engineering and technology for projects in Asia, Africa and South America.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant has had launched a joint venture with China's top mill Baosteel Group in Australia. It also partnered with Sinosteel Corp in Australia's Channar project.

It is engaged in increasing cash market sales to benefit from higher prices, with the expectation to triple iron ore sales in the cash market to 15 million tons this year.

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