RIO 3.25% $98.15 rio tinto limited

News: RIO UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto says deal to sell stake in Guinean iron ore project has lapsed

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    • Rio says 2016 non-binding deal with Chinalco has lapsed
    • Project currently owned by Rio, Chinalco, Guinean govt
    • Development has faced several delays

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    Oct 29 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto (RIO) on Monday said a non-binding 2016 agreement for Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) 601600.SS to acquire the company's entire stake in the Simandou iron ore project in the West African nation of Guinea has lapsed.

    "Rio Tinto and Chinalco ... will continue to work with the government of Guinea to explore other options to realise value from the world-class Simandou iron ore deposit," the miner said in a statement.

    Rio and Chinalco own 45.05 percent and 39.95 percent of the project respectively, while the government of Guinea owns 15 percent.

    Chinalco was not immediately available for comment. Guinea's mining minister earlier this year had expressed confidence in being able to reach an agreement on the long-stalled Simandou scheme, which has faced several bottlenecks as Chinalco wanted to take over the whole of the project not just the two blocks Rio is selling, sources had told Reuters.

    However, the minister ruled that out at that time. Last year Rio's chief financial officer called the deal complex because of the involvement of three parties.

    Rio Tinto shares were up 1.3 percent at 0034 GMT, while the broader Australian market had risen nearly 1 percent (xjo) .

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