Johannesburg - Rio Tinto has agreed to sell two small coal
assets in South Africa, the latest move by the global mining giant to up stakes
and divest from the country.
Forbes & Manhattan Coal said on Tuesday it would pay
R440m for the two coal assets.
Rio Tinto is also divesting from South Africa’s largest
copper producer Palabora Mining Company but has no buyer a year after putting
the 57.7% stake on the market.
Rio Tinto spokesperson David Outhwaite said the scale of the
coal assets being sold were simply too small for its portfolio.
The company is not completely abandoning South Africa and
doubled its stake in Richards Bay Minerals earlier this year, a producer of
But policy uncertainty and a wave of violent strikes in the
platinum sector this year have unnerved foreign investors.
Forbes Coal said the acquisition will boost its total
production by 39% to 2.5 million tonnes a year.
Forbes Coal is taking a 74% interest in the Zululand
Anthracite Colliery, a producing anthracite mine, and 74% in the Riversdale
Anthracite Colliery (“RAC”), an undeveloped mine. The remaining 26% stakes in
each asset are in the hands of black economic empowerment partners.
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