London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 February 2009 – Rio Tinto – a leading international mining group focused on finding, mining, and processing mineral resources – has completed the sale of its undeveloped potash assets to the Brazilian mining company Vale for a cash consideration of US$850 million (R8.5 billion).
A news release issued here confirmed that the transaction involved the company’s Potasio Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina and the Regina exploration assets in Canada. The proceeds from this divestment will go towards the company’s repayment of debt.
In December 2008, Rio Tinto announced a detailed package of measures in response to the rapidity and severity of the global economic downturn. One aspect of those measures included expansion of the scope of the group’s existing asset divestment programme.
During 2008, Rio Tinto realised almost US$3 billion (R30 billion) from asset sales, comprising the Greens Creek mine in Alaska for US$750 million (R7.5 billion), its interest in the Cortez operation in Nevada for US$1.695 billion (Almost R17 billion) and the Kintyre uranium project in Western Australia for US$495 million (close to R5 billion). In January 2009, the Group announced the divestment of its interest in the Ningxia aluminum smelter in China for US$125 million (R1.25 billion).