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New copper technology alliance

Copper produced
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 November 2009 – Leading international mining group Rio Tinto and Chilean state-owned copper producer CODELCO have entered into what has been called the “Río de Cobre” (River of Copper) technology alliance agreement.

A statement issued here by Rio Tinto said the new alliance allowed both companies to jointly pursue next generation copper mining and processing technology development.

The aim was to deliver safer, more energy-efficient and lower cost production from both current and next generation open cut and deep underground mines, while operating with a lower overall environmental impact.

Governed by an independent chair and vice chair, Río de Cobre will pursue step change technology development in the areas of surface mining, underground mining and copper mineral recovery.

Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said: “Combining the Rio Tinto mine of the future with the industry renowned copper technology expertise of CODELCO positions both of our companies to best confront the challenges posed by the increasing demand for copper.”

CODELCO chief executive Jose Pablo Arellano added: “This initiative will make possible a major technological breakthrough by the world’s largest innovators in the mining industry, starting the effort to meet the challenges in underground mining, where we have the largest operational projects in the copper industry.”