Rio Tinto has formalised a joint venture (JV) deal with China’s Minmetals to begin exploration of mineral deposits in China.
As part of the deal, the parties will form a 50-50 JV and will later expand their collaboration for mineral exploration to other parts of the world. The formation of the JV is subject to regulatory approvals.
The development comes after the companies signed a Technical Collaboration Contract in November last year to form a collaborative partnership in mineral exploration.
The JV contract was signed by Rio Tinto Minerals Development and Minmetals Exploration & Development Company.
Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “The formalisation of the exploration JV is an important milestone in our growing partnership with China and Minmetals, who is an increasingly important player in the global mining industry.
“Our complementary strengths in exploration put us in the best possible position to find metals and minerals essential to human progress.”
On a priority basis, the JV will work on mineral targets that are identified in China under the technical collaboration agreement.
The new entity will have a registered capital of RMB200m ($31.3m), with each party contributing RMB35m ($5.5m) within around six months of establishment.
The companies will decide on any further capital contributions based on agreed target areas.
China Minmetals president Guo Wenqing said: “Rio Tinto has rich prospecting experience and great discoveries worldwide, while Minmetals has solid technical expertise and extensive experience – the two strong partners will drive breakthroughs, pioneer progress, and promote the exchanges and collaboration of the global resource industry.”