This move comes following a memorandum of understanding signed in March this year under which both the firms committed to explore opportunities for collaboration.
The HoA details the guidelines and framework for exploration collaboration, both within and outside China.
Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “Minmetals is rapidly becoming an important player in the global mining industry and we look forward to partnering with them.
“Our complementary strengths in exploration across the globe put us in the best possible position to find the metals and minerals that are essential to our modern lives.”
China Minmetals Corporation chairman He Wenbo said: “Rio Tinto is a leading global mining group that has accumulated tremendous exploration experience and success over time.
"Minmetals is a fast-growing company and the partnership with Rio Tinto will help secure mutual global opportunities for quality resources and enhance our long-term development in the mining sector."
The two firms will work to formalise written agreements with regard to principles and other frameworks on implementation and setting up of joint teams to identify exploration targets for collaboration.
China Minmetals is a leading metals and minerals trading company, while Rio Tinto is a leading listed miner in terms of market capitalisation.