Rio Tinto has confirmed that no discussions are taking place with Glencore regarding a possible merger of the two companies to create a $160 billion corporation which would see it become the world’s biggest miner.

“In July 2014, Glencore contacted Rio Tinto regarding a potential merger of Rio Tinto and Glencore,” Rio Tinto said in a statement. “The Rio Tinto board, after consultation with its financial and legal advisers, concluded unanimously that a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto’s shareholders.

“The board’s rejection was communicated to Glencore in early August and there has been no further contact between the companies on this matter.”

Rio Tinto remains focused on the successful execution of its strategy, which the board of Rio Tinto is confident will continue to deliver significant and sustainable value for shareholders, the company added.

Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said “Under the leadership of Sam Walsh and Chris Lynch, Rio Tinto has made significant progress in refocusing and strengthening its business.

“The board believes that the continued successful execution of Rio Tinto’s strategy will allow Rio Tinto to increase free cash flow significantly in the near term and materially increase returns to shareholders. Rio Tinto’s shareholders stand to benefit from the very considerable value that this will generate.”

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