Chinalco Seeks to Take Part in Oyu Tolgoi, Zhao Says

Aluminum Corp. of China, the nation’s biggest producer of the metal, is seeking to participate in the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project in Mongolia that’s being developed by Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group.

“We are seeking to find the best time to participate in the Oyu Tolgoi project,” Zhao Zhengang, general manager of overseas investment at the state-owned company that’s known as Chinalco, said today in an interview in Beijing. “Mongolia is a very important region as it is rich in mineral resources and the region is a good fit with Chinalco’s plans to develop overseas”

Chinalco, the largest shareholder in Rio Tinto, has stepped up overseas acquisitions to diversify, buying copper assets in Peru and an iron ore project in Guinea via its publicly traded unit. London-based Rio says Oyu Tolgoi, due to start output in 2013, is the world’s largest untapped copper and gold deposit.

Chinalco’s President Xiong Weiping said in August that Chinalco is studying acquisitions of “large and quality” copper deposits with reserves of as much as 5 million metric tons. The company bought Peru Copper Inc. in 2007 to develop the $2.2 billion Toromocho project in central Peru.

--Xiao Yu. Editors: Andrew Hobbs, Keith Gosman

To contact the Bloomberg News Staff on this story: Xiao Yu in Beijing at yxiao@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net. hatan@bloomberg.net.
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