Rio Tinto and China’s Sinosteel Corp. have agreed to extend their historic Channar Mining joint venture (JV).
This third extension of the joint venture, confirmed in Beijing by Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques and Sinosteel Chairman Xu Siwei, will see an additional 10 million t of iron ore delivered into the JV from Western Australia.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Chris Salisbury said: “The Channar joint venture is one of Australia’s most significant trading partnerships and has helped pave the way for the incredibly strong relationship we have forged with China today. This extension represents another milestone in our 30-year partnership that has seen more than 250 million t of iron ore delivered from the Pilbara to China.”
The extension will see Sinosteel make an upfront payment of US$15 million to Rio Tinto as well as production royalties linked to the iron ore price. It is conditional upon approvals from the Western Australian, Australian and Chinese governments.
The original Channar JV was signed in 1987 and provided for the production of 200 million t of iron ore. This third extension will increase the life of the JV to cover production totalling 290 million t.