Rio Tinto, Kazgeologiya to create two JVs

February 01. Universal Newswires

Rio Tinto, Kazgeologiya to create two JVsBritish-Australian mining firm Rio Tinto has signed a deal with Kazakh state firm Kazgeologiya to create two joint ventures to conduct exploration of copper, Kazakh media reported Friday.

The deal is expected to lead to at least $10 million in investment.

Kazgeologiya was created by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2011 to oversee the discovery and exploration of new deposits.

The two JVs will focus their exploration on the Balkhash-Saryshagan regions of northern Kazakh province Karagandy.

Though investment in the exploration project is expected to be at least $10 million, it may be necessary to invest more.

“At this stage of exploration, it is very difficult to accurately determine the amount of investment that would be required for these activities for the duration of the program,” the Interfax news agency reported a Rio Tinto official as saying.

“The initial investment for these exploration programs will be more than $10 million.”

Kazakhstan will benefit from the deal as Rio Tinto will deliver modern exploration technology to the country, Minister for Industry and New Technologies Aset Issekeshev said.

“We need technology that can operate at great depths,” state media reported Issekeshev as saying.

“Our geology [equipment], unfortunately, does not have the capacity to work at great depths. And we hope that, after working with Rio Tinto on new technologies, we can put them all over Kazakhstan.”