Rio Tinto has acquired a majority interest in Riversdale Mining, the company has announced.

Riversdale Mining assets include Benga and Zambeze coal mining and exploration projects in the Tete and Moatize provinces of Mozambique.

Rio Tinto has aquired a 50% stake and may increase this further with the takeover offer remaining open until 20 April.

A mining concession has been granted for Benga project, which is a joint venture with Tata Steel and the initial coal has been scheduled to be exported before the end of this year.

An exploration licence has been granted for the Zambeze coal project, which is 100% owned by Riversdale.

Rio Tinto Energy CEO Doug Ritchie said the new Riversdale board would reflect the company’s majority shareholding and help in clearing the way for the development of Riversdale’s assets as quickly as possible.