Rio Tinto has taken a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., having purchased shares that take its interest to 51%. Rio Tinto Chief Executive Copper Andrew Harding, said, “Rio Tinto’s move to a majority stake in Ivanhoe further demonstrates our commitment to the safe and successful development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine for the benefit of all stakeholders. We are approaching a very important phase in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, with 70% of the construction now complete. The lead-up to first ore in the second half of 2012 will mark an important milestone in the path toward commercial production of copper concentrate, slated for the first half of 2013.”

Rio Tinto purchased an additional 15.1 million common shares of Ivanhoe, representing 2% of Ivanhoe’s outstanding common shares, from two sellers in a privately negotiated share purchase transaction. The shares were purchased for an aggregate of C$302 million at a price per share of C$20. After the completion of the share purchase, Rio Tinto will own 51% of Ivanhoe’s outstanding common shares.