Rio Tinto Reaches Agreement to Sell Its Kintyre Uranium Project For US$495 Million.
Rio Tinto has signed an agreement to sell the Kintyre uranium project located in Western Australia to a joint venture consortium comprising subsidiaries of Cameco Corporation and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd for US$495 million.
Guy Elliott, chief financial officer of Rio Tinto, said, “This sale brings us closer to achieving our asset sales target of US$10 billion in 2008, and is the third under a planned programme to divest at least US$15 billion of assets in total.
“It illustrates our ability to obtain real value for our assets and follows the sales earlier this year of the Greens Creek mine in Alaska for US$750 million and our interest in the Cortez operation in Nevada for US$1.695 billion.
“These transactions bring transparency to the value inherent in Rio Tinto’s portfolio of high quality assets.”
The transaction is expected to close in August 2008, subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions and certain agreements with the Martu People, the traditional owners. There is no financing condition.
In November 2007, Rio Tinto announced the results of its overall strategic review of the Group’s asset portfolio following its acquisition of Alcan. Options are being explored to divest Rio Tinto Energy America (coal), Rio Tinto Minerals talc and borates businesses, Rio Tinto Alcan Packaging, Rio Tinto Alcan Engineered Products, Rio Tinto’s interest in the Northparkes copper mine in Australia and Rio Tinto’s Sweetwater uranium assets in the USA.
About the Kintyre Project
Kintyre is located in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, approximately 270km north-east of Newman and 90km south of Telfer, on the south-west margin of the Great Sandy Desert. The Kintyre tenements comprise four granted Mining Leases, four Mining Lease Applications, a Miscellaneous Licence and 12 Prospecting Licences, which together cover a total area of approximately 52 km2.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.
This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.