Global mining company Rio Tinto has signed a US$20m joint venture agreement with the world's largest copper producer, Chilean-owned Codelco.
The agreement covers Codelco SCM Los Andes, who will also work on the exploration venture at the Exploradora prospect in northern Chile.
Rio Tinto can earn 55% interest in the prospect, with the potential to increase ownership to 60%.
Rio Tinto says it hopes to unlock value from the 'highly prospective' copper belt in the world's biggest copper-producing country.
By Adrian McBreen