BEIJING, Mar. 18 -- Talks with Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Ltd. (RTP) for a joint investment in the Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea are closer to fruition than similar discussions between the two sides over the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining project in Mongolia, a senior executive for Aluminum Corp. of China, one of the country's leading state-owned foreign investment vehicles for metals and resources, told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.
"The Guinea project discussions are proceeding more smoothly," Lu Youqing, vice president for the Chinese company also known as Chinalco, said in response to questions about the two projects.
Lu's comments are the first indication of how far along the two sides are on the two projects, which are together the first signals of the renewal of closer ties between Chinalco and Rio Tinto after the collapse of Chinalco's $19.5-billion investment bid for Rio Tinto last June.
Chinalco is also pursuing other overseas metals and mining projects, not just with Rio, Lu said, without specifying these projects.
"Chinalco's strategy is (to pursue) global metals and mining companies.. To realize this strategy, we are always talking to global companies in these related fields in search of opportunities for equal mutual cooperation."
Lu also acknowledged that Chinalco was pursuing membership on the board of directors in Rio Tinto, though he didn't specify the number of seats.