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Rio May Push for Oyu Tolgoi Stake, Ivanhoe Says
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MELBOURNE Jan 27 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto may push for a change in ownership of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia, which is two-thirds owned by Canada's Ivanhoe Mines, the Canadian miner said in a U.S. filing.

Ivanhoe said the Anglo-Australian miner also plans to replace some Ivanhoe senior managers and increase its representation on the board. Rio increased its stake in the Canadian miner to 51 percent earlier this week.

Rio may approach Ivanhoe "alone or jointly with a third party, concerning the long-term structure of their existing investment, a direct ownership interest in the Oyu Tolgoi project or other changes to the capitalization, ownership structure or operations of the company," Ivanhoe said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing went further than Rio Tinto's own announcement after it moved to a majority position in Ivanhoe earlier this week looking to step up control over Oyu Tolgoi, which is due to start producing within 18 months.

Rio Tinto declined to comment on Ivanhoe's filing.

Rio flagged in 2010 that it had held talks with its biggest shareholder, Chinalco, about possibly bringing in the Chinese state-owned company as a partner in Oyu Tolgoi, a move that would have to be approved by the Mongolian government.

Mongolia owns 34 percent of the project, while Ivanhoe owns the rest.

Ivanhoe's shares have slumped 17 percent since Rio Tinto won a fight against Ivanhoe's "poison pill" takeover defense, clearing the way for it to take over Ivanhoe.

After increasing its stake to 51 percent, the Anglo-Australian miner said it has no current plans to buy more shares.

Rio Tinto
Oyu Tolgoi
copper Cu
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