Rio Tinto will sell its 57.7% interest in Palabora Mining Co. Ltd. for $373 million to a consortium led by the Industrial Development Corp. (IDC) of South Africa Ltd. (20%) and Hebei Iron & Steel Group (35%). Anglo American also participated in the sale process led by Rio Tinto and said it would sell its 16.8% interest in Palabora for $103 million. The sale is subject to customary regulatory approvals in South Africa and China that are expected to take four to six months.
“Palabora is a good business but is no longer a natural fit within Rio Tinto’s portfolio,” said Guy Elliott, CFO, Rio Tinto. “I expect Palabora to continue prospering under its new ownership. During the transition we will continue to run the operations efficiently and safely.”
In addition to Hebei, a leading steel producer owned by the Chinese Government and IDC, which is owned by the South African Government, the consortium also includes Tewoo Group Co., Ltd (20%), a diversified group also owned by the Chinese Government and General Nice Development Ltd. (25%), a privately-owned Chinese trading company.