MELBOURNE, Nov 25, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) said Friday that it and shareholder Aluminum Corp. of China, or Chinalco, have registered a joint venture business in China, clearing the way to explore for minerals in the country.
The JV, which the companies agreed upon in June, will initially target copper before expanding into coal and potash in the future, the Anglo-Australian mining company said in an emailed statement.
The registration of Chinalco Rio Tinto Exploration Co., which will be 51% owned by Chinalco and 49% by Rio, was approved by China's Industrial and Commercial Administration.
"China is a vast country rich in minerals and it has the geological pedigree to produce significant world-class deposits," said Ian Bauert, Rio's managing director for China. "Exploration work carried out over past decades is a rich source of data and experience on which to build."
Chinalco, which has a roughly 9% voting stake in Rio, will nominate three directors, including the chairman for the venture, while Rio will appoint the chief executive and two directors.