Rio Tinto gains majority stake in Ivanhoe

The Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto says it now holds a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines, further extending its control over immense Mongolian gold and copper deposits.
Rio Tinto raised its stake in the Canadian mining group to 51 per cent by purchasing an additional two per cent of its outstanding shares, before "a very important phase in the development of the Oly Tolgoi project" in Mongolia, a statement released on Tuesday said.
Construction of the mine - which currently employs 9,000 Mongolian workers - is about 70 per cent complete and production is expected to begin late next year, Rio Tinto noted.
The mining group said that in the last few days it had bought 15.1 million shares of Ivanhoe for a total of 302 million Canadian dollars ($A283.71 million).
Rio Tinto was able to raise its stake following mediation last month in its long running conflict with Ivanhoe, which had tried to block the Anglo-Australian giant from getting a majority of shares.
The multi-billion-dollar Oyu Tolgoi project has been billed as one of the biggest investments in Mongolia since the former Soviet satellite took a capitalist route more than two decades ago.
Ivanhoe owns two-thirds of the shares in Oyu Tolgoi while the Mongolian government holds a 32 per cent stake.
Sale of copper from the mine should begin in the first half of 2013, Rio Tinto said.

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