The aluminium division of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has sold its 80 per cent stake in Ghana Bauxite Company Ltd. to private a Chinese firm.
Financial details of the sale to Bosai Minerals Group were not disclosed. The remaining 20 per cent of the operation is owned by the West African government, which first partnered with Rio Tinto in 1974.
The head of Rio Tinto Alcan’s bauxite and alumina business said the sale was the best way to ensure the bauxite operation’s long-term sustainability.
“After conducting a thorough evaluation of our options, it was determined that, while Ghana Bauxite Company is a quality operation, its size is not aligned with our long-term strategy,” said Steve Hodgson, president and CEO of Rio Tinto Alumina and Bauxite.
Meanwhile, Rio Tinto Alcan said it will spend US$300,000 to extend its support of development plans of the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District, which houses the bauxite operations. The commitment through 2012 will assist local Ghanaian and international groups improve health, education, water and sanitation.
Ghana Bauxite employs 299 people and produced 802,000 tonnes of bauxite in 2008.
Rio Tinto has sold more than US$10 billion of assets to help pay off debt built up with the 2007 purchase of Alcan for US$38.1 billion.