Angola is priority market for mining company Rio Tinto

14 July 2006

London, England, 14 July – British mining company Rio Tinto, the second largest mining company in the world, wants to boost its presence in Africa and has chosen Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo as priority markets, the company said.

Andy Lloyd, one of the geologists responsible for the company’s expansion projects, speaking to analysts at a conference in Gaborone, Botswana, said that in the next few months Rio Tinto would open an office in Johannesburg, which will coordinate the company’s African operations.

“Our new policy is to be aware of risk, rather than avoiding risk. We are going into areas where Rio Tinto would normally not think of entering,” said Lloyd.

Lloyd also said that the expansion strategy in Angola and the Congo, where Rio Tinto as yet has no mining operations, was now “under revision.”

of the three main international mining groups, which include rivals BHP Billitona nd Anglo-American, Rio Tinto is the one with the smallest presence in Africa.

In Angola, BHP Billiton has diamond mines in Alto Cuílo, in the northeast of the country, where it has made important discoveries of kimberlitic reserves.

Rio Tinto currently has mining operations in Botswana, Guinea, Mozambique and South Africa.

Last month the company opened an office in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is currently prospecting for diamonds, copper and cobalt. (macauhub)