Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration has terminated its option and joint venture (JV) agreement with First Bauxite Corporation.

In 2008, Rio Tinto Exploration signed a letter of understanding with First Bauxite to form a four-year JV to explore economic metallurgical bauxite resources in the northern portion of the coastal bauxite belt of Guyana.

The Essequibo-Demerara permit for geological and geophysical surveys was granted in 2007 to Guyana Industrial Minerals, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bauxite.

The date to date exploration data from the Essequibo project has been delivered to First Bauxite.

First Bauxite president Yannis Tsitos said the company’s technical team is currently reviewing the exploration results over Essequibo and the management will soon define the project’s future.

“The main focus of the company remains the Bonasika refractory bauxite project and its development,” Tsitos said.