Rio Tinto has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with Turquoise Hill Resources for an updated funding plan for the completion of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project in Mongolia. The Funding Plan addresses the estimated remaining known funding requirement of approximately $2.3 billion 1 building on and replacing the arrangements established in the Memorandum of Understanding that Rio Tinto and TRQ previously …

Rio Tinto has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) for an updated funding plan (the “Funding Plan”) for the completion of the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) Underground Project in Mongolia. The Funding Plan addresses the estimated remaining known funding requirement of approximately $2.3 billion 1 , building on and replacing the arrangements established in the Memorandum of Understanding that Rio Tinto and TRQ previously entered into on 9 September, 2020.

Under the HoA, subject to securing approval by OT LLC and any required support from the Government of Mongolia, and subject to timing, availability, and terms and conditions being acceptable to both parties, Rio Tinto and TRQ will:

  • pursue re-profiling of principal debt repayments up to $1.4 billion with lenders under the existing project finance arrangements to better align with the revised mine plan, project timing and cash flows;
  • seek to raise up to $500 million in senior supplemental debt (SSD) under the existing project financing arrangements from selected international financial institutions;
  • Rio Tinto has committed to address any potential shortfalls from the re-profiling and additional SSD of up to $750 million by providing a senior co-lending facility (the “Co-Lending Facility”) on the same terms as OT’s project financing; and
  • TRQ has committed to complete a rights offering or placement of common shares for up to $500 million to satisfy any remaining funding shortfall within six months of the Co-Lending Facility becoming available.

Rio Tinto Copper Chief Executive Bold Baatar said “This agreement and alignment with TRQ represents a major milestone in the continued development of Oyu Tolgoi, which is expected to become one of the world’s largest copper mines and a significant contributor to the Mongolian economy for years to come. Commencing the re-profiling whilst concurrently listening, engaging and resolving the concerns of the Government of Mongolia are critical steps to maintaining momentum on the timely delivery of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project.”

“We are pleased to have reached a constructive and equitable agreement with Rio Tinto to fund the Oyu Tolgoi underground development,” stated Steve Thibeault, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill. “With a binding funding agreement now in place that sets out a process along a known timeline, we will be able to move ahead as expeditiously as possible with the development of the underground project at Oyu Tolgoi. We remain committed to continue delivering a benefit to all stakeholders, including Mongolia and its citizens, and to delivering significant long-term value for TRQ as this project progresses.”

Rio Tinto and TRQ have agreed to jointly obtain an order dismissing the current arbitration on a without prejudice basis, including an order vacating the interim measures order.

Rio Tinto Canadian early warning disclosure

Rio Tinto currently beneficially owns 102,196,643 common shares of TRQ, representing approximately 50.8% of the issued and outstanding common shares of TRQ. Rio Tinto also has anti-dilution rights that permit it to acquire additional securities of TRQ so as to maintain its proportionate equity interest in TRQ from time to time.

As the subscription price for and the amount of any rights offering or other equity offering is not determinable at this time, the number of TRQ common shares Rio Tinto will beneficially own following closing of any such equity offering cannot be determined at this time.

Except in connection with any such equity offering, Rio Tinto has no present intention of acquiring additional securities of TRQ. Depending upon its evaluation of the business, prospects and financial condition of TRQ, the market for TRQ’s securities, general economic and tax conditions and other factors, Rio Tinto may directly or indirectly acquire or sell some or all of the securities of TRQ.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by, and a copy of the related early warning report may be obtained from, Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

1 The estimated remaining funding requirement is based on the terms of the HoA and current anticipated copper prices, among other factors, and does not include funding, if any, which may become required for a power plant.

media.enquiries@riotinto.com
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Media Relations, United Kingdom
Illtud Harri
M +44 7920 503 600

David Outhwaite
T +44 20 7781 1623
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Media Relations, Americas
Matthew Klar
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Media Relations, Asia
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Group Company Secretary
Steve Allen

Rio Tinto plc
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T +44 20 7781 2000
Registered in England
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Featured

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation  is pleased to announce positive results from 48 drill holes, totaling 7,936 metres, drilled on the C6, C1 and C2 targets at its Cameron Copper Project as part of ongoing exploration at the property.  The drill program encountered intercepts of high-grade mineralization, within long, low-grade mineralized envelopes, with lateral continuity between intercepts of up to 1 kilometre. …

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSX: CMMC) (ASX: C6C) (the “Company” or “Copper Mountain”) is pleased to announce positive results from 48 drill holes, totaling 7,936 metres, drilled on the C6, C1 and C2 targets at its Cameron Copper Project (“Cameron”), as part of ongoing exploration at the property. The drill program encountered intercepts of high-grade mineralization, within long, low-grade mineralized envelopes, with lateral continuity between intercepts of up to 1 kilometre. The Company plans to carry out further drilling that will also include new undrilled targets with significant copper-gold anomalies in surface soil and rock samples. Cameron is situated 40 kilometres south of the Company’s Eva Copper Project (“Eva”), located in the Mount Isa region of Queensland, Australia near Cloncurry. See Appendix 1 for a regional location map. View PDF

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Copper Mountain Mining Corporation will be hosting a conference call on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 7:30 am for senior management to discuss its third quarter 2021 results. The Company will be releasing its third quarter 2021 financial and operating results before markets open on Monday, November 1, 2021 . Dial-in information: Toronto and international: 1 764 8650 North America : 1 664 6383 Webcast: Replay …

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSX: CMMC) (ASX: C6C) (the “Company” or “Copper Mountain”) will be hosting a conference call on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 7:30 am (Pacific Time) for senior management to discuss its third quarter 2021 results. The Company will be releasing its third quarter 2021 financial and operating results before markets open on Monday, November 1, 2021 .

Dial-in information:
Toronto and international: 1 (416) 764 8650
North America (toll-free): 1 (888) 664 6383
Webcast: https://produceredition.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1501080&tp_key=fd3437f8d3

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Copper Mountain Mining Corporation  is pleased to announce that it has successfully installed and commenced commissioning of the third ball mill at its Copper Mountain Mine, which is located in southern British Columbia, Canada near the town of Princeton.  The installation of the third ball mill completes the Ball Mill 3 Expansion Project which will increase plant milling capacity to 45,000 tonnes per day from …

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSX: CMMC) (ASX:C6C) (the “Company” or “Copper Mountain”) is pleased to announce that it has successfully installed and commenced commissioning of the third ball mill at its Copper Mountain Mine, which is located in southern British Columbia, Canada near the town of Princeton. The installation of the third ball mill completes the Ball Mill 3 Expansion Project which will increase plant milling capacity to 45,000 tonnes per day from 40,000 tonnes per day.

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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