Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) will invest US$1.4 billion in return for a 47% stake in a joint venture (JV) with Rio Tinto (RIO.ASX, RIO.LSE) in Guinea, the Financial Times reported. The partnership, expected to be the first of several JVs between the Anglo-Australian miner and its biggest shareholder, will cover mining and infrastructure at the Simandou project. Analysts believe the entire project could cost US$12 billion to develop. Although four Rio Tinto employees, including Stern Hu, an Australian national who was the company’s senior iron ore salesman in China, face charges in a Shanghai court Monday that they stole commercial secrets and took bribes, Rio’s top management has suggested it might extend ties with Chinalco. In a note to clients, Citi said the two firms might cooperate on the Weipa bauxite mine in Queensland and the Oyu Tolgoi development in Mongolia.
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