Australia’s Northparkes Mines have announced the handover of their project to China Molybdenum Co. (CMOC) from outgoing owners Rio Tinto. The transfer was officiated at the copper-gold mine site, with guests from CMOC, Rio Tinto, joint venture partners Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania and Sumitomo Mineral Resources Corp. in attendance.

CMOC began its 80% ownership on December 1, having met with employees across the site, which Rio has operated since 2001; the operation lies 27 km northwest of Parkes in Australia’s New South Wales province.

CMOC overseas CEO Kalidas Madhavpeddi recognized a commitment by Northparkes staff with collective efforts to ensure a smooth transition. “We are excited to have more than 300 new colleagues and an operation for leading-edge technology,” Madhavpeddi said. “We look forward to working alongside our new team to ensure the bright future of Northparkes Mines for all of us, including the communities that surround the mine.”

Of the government officials and employees in attendance, local member of Parliament Troy Grant was similarly enthused. “It will bring opportunities to increase the already industry-leading reputation that Northparkes has,” he said.