Rio Tinto's Venture With China's Chinalco: Key to Iron Ore Breakthrough

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Rio Tinto plc, in its planning and prioritization efforts, is still going strong on iron ore exploration – unlike rival BHP Billiton – and is playing with Chinalco, among others.

“Rio has remained active even in iron ore…Most of the iron ore activity is so-called brownfield – working around an existing operation – often preferred as it is cheaper. But there is also activity outside Rio’s core Australian base to keep options open. ‘There is just a very small effort to make sure we don’t miss a deposit that could be a game changer,’ [Rio’s Stephen] McIntosh said,” as quoted by Reuters.

According to the article, “Like other miners Rio has pushed into increasingly difficult regions to seek the next big deposit…McIntosh said there may be some ‘hidden’ deposits in established locations such as Chile, for copper, that are becoming visible with new technology. But Rio will also keep an eye on developing regions. This includes Laos, where it is moving towards a discovery, India, where it has made a diamond find, or China, where it has a venture with state-owned miner Chinalco.”

Chinese steel and raw materials prices were flat for the day on MetalMiner’s daily index.

The prices of iron ore 58% fines from India remained rangebound. The price of Chinese HRC held steady. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat.

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The cash price of steel billet held steady on the LME at $140.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $160.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little movement last Friday, closing out around $631.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract was unchanged at $648.00 per short ton.

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