London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 December 2008 – The Rio Tinto Group – the world’s second-largest producer of iron ore and aluminum – has had what it describes as spectacular prospecting results at a nickel deposit in the United States, and is pushing two other successful projects into pre-feasibility studies.
Exploration head Eric Finlayson told Reuters at the Mines & Money conference here that early next year the group would make public, along with its annual results, the details of a new nickel sulphide deposit in the American state of Minnesota.
“The problem we have is that we haven’t closed off the deposit, so it could be quite a significant discovery,” he added. “We’ll be drilling that through the winter to try and identify the size of the prize, if you like. Some of the drill results have been spectacular.”
Reuters reports that Rio will also announce that it has finalised two other successful exploration projects, and will transfer them to colleagues to assess whether they can be developed into mines. They involve an ilmenite operation in Mozambique and a diamond mine in India.
“This year we completed order of magnitude studies, which allow us to assess whether or not to hand the projects over to product groups for pre-feasibility. They both passed the hurdle,” he said.
Rio – the third largest diversified mining group in the world by market value – will also announce official resource figures for the Mozambique and Serbia deposits, plus one other, a borate project in Serbia.