Copper, News, Rio Tinto, Takeover bids

Rio’s New Copper deal

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has completed the acquisition of PanAmerican Silver’s stake in Agua de la Falda.

The major also entered a joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) to explore and potentially develop the company’s assets in Chile’s prospective Atacama region.

The $45 million acquisition, announced on August 1 2023, comprises a 57.74 per cent operating stake in Agua de la Falda and the grant of net smelter returns royalties.

The company said it paves the way for Rio Tinto and Codelco to start its joint exploration project at the asset.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm and Codelco chairman Maximo Pacheco met in Tokyo to formalise the new joint venture, which will be known as Nuevo Cobre (New Copper).

“Chile is one of the most important sources of the copper and other critical minerals the world needs to deliver the energy transition and achieve net-zero,” Stausholm said.

“With this partnership, we are bringing together our complementary experience and capabilities. Codelco’s local knowledge and expertise is second to none and we have a global track record in exploration.

“I am very much looking forward to getting our work on the ground started.”

Pacheco also welcomed the New Copper project, which builds on a collaboration agreement between the two companies signed in October 2022.

“This is an unbeatable opportunity for Codelco and Rio Tinto to join our knowledge, experience, strengths and capabilities to accelerate exploration and development of these assets to contribute the copper that the world needs for its energy transition,” he said.

“We are very pleased to formalise this partnership with Rio Tinto and acknowledge our mutual commitment to following the best standards of health, safety, community relations and care for the environment.”

Agua de la Falda has previously been explored for precious metals with minimal modern exploration for copper.

Analysis by Rio Tinto Exploration indicates it is prospective for new copper discoveries, which will now be the focus of the joint venture.

Subscribe to Australian Mining and receive the latest news on product announcements, industry developments, commodities and more.

Send this to a friend