Rio Tinto group plans to invest 1 billion euros in iron ore mining in Portugal

21 October 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, 21 Oct – Mining group Rio Tinto plans to invest 1 billion euros in iron ore mining in Portugal, specifically in the Torre de Moncorvo mines, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported in Lisbon.

The news agency also said that the investment was being negotiated by the Portuguese government, Mining Technologies International (MTI), the Canadian company that holds the concession on the mine until 2070, and the Rio Tinto group.

The Torres de Moncorvo mines, in the northern Portuguese region of Trás-os-Montes, are one of Europe’s largest iron ore deposits, with measured resources of 552 million tons of ore and estimated resources of 1 billion tons.

According to the MTI website, prospecting and surveying rights were obtained through a contract signed with the Portuguese government in 2008, but the concession on the mines was only granted on 5 January of this year.

MTI began talks with the Rio Tinto group so that it could take a majority stake in the project, which, in an initial stage, will explore the Mua mine, which has measured and indicated reserves of 120 million tons.

If it goes ahead this investment would mark a return of the Rio Tinto group to Portugal, after the company had an investment in the Neves-Corvo copper mines for several years until its was sold to Canadian company EuroZinc. (macauhub)