Rio Tinto and Anglo American Selling Palabora Interests
Palabora operates a large block cave copper mine and smelter complex employ-ing 2,200 people in Limpopo province, South Africa. The company produces about 80,000 mt/y of refined copper, supplying most of South Africa’s copper needs and exporting the balance. The refinery pro-duces continuous cast rod for the South African market and cathodes for export. Byproduct metals and minerals include zir-conium chemicals, magnetite, and nickel sulphate, as well as small quantities of gold, silver, and platinum.
Rio Tinto will sell its 57.7% effective interest in Palabora for $373 million. Anglo American will sell its 16.8% effec-tive interest for ZAR893 million (about $103 million).
Guy Elliott, CFO of Rio Tinto, said, “Palabora is a good business but is no longer a natural fit within Rio Tinto’s port-folio. Selling our stake reflects Rio Tinto’s policy of continually reviewing our portfolio to generate best value for shareholders.”
The purchasing consortium includes Hebei (35%), a leading international steel producer owned by the Chinese govern-ment; General Nice Development Ltd. (25%), a privately-owned Chinese trading company; Tewoo Group (20%), a major diversified group wholly-owned by the Chinese government; and IDC (20%), a development finance institution wholly-owned by the South African government.