Rio Tinto and Minmetals formalized a contract to establish a 50:50 joint venture to explore for world-class mineral deposits in China. This move follows a technical contract signed in November 2017 when both companies committed to a collaborative partnership in mineral exploration. The joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques and China Minmetals president Guo Wenqing witnessed the signing of the Joint Venture Contract by Rio Tinto Minerals Development Ltd. and Minmetals Exploration & Development Co. Ltd.

“This is an important milestone in our growing partnership with China and Minmetals, who is an increasingly important player in the global mining industry,” said J-S Jacques, CEO, Rio Tinto. “Our complementary strengths in exploration put us in the best possible position to find metals and minerals.”

“The collaboration is very significant to Minmetals,” said Guo Wenqing, president, China Minmetals. “Rio Tinto has rich prospecting experience and great discoveries worldwide, while Minmetals has solid technical expertise and extensive experience – the two strong partners will drive breakthroughs, pioneer progress, and promote the exchanges and collaboration of the global resource industry.”

The immediate priority for the joint venture will be mineral targets in China that are identified under the Technical Collaboration Agreement. The future collaboration of the parties will expand to exploration of global resources.

The registered capital of the joint venture will be RMB200 million ($31.3 million) with initial contributions of RMB35 million ($5.5 million) by each party within approximately 6 months of establishment of the joint venture. Any further capital contributions will be subject to unanimous approval of the parties and linked to agreed target areas.