Turquoise Hill soars on Rio Tinto increasing stake rumours
Shares in Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill Resources (TSE, NYSE:TRQ) soared Monday on reports that the mining giant had hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to look at a two-step wrap-up of the Vancouver-based firm.
The stock was up 12.5% to Cdn$4.14 in Toronto and 14% to $3.29 in New York at 11:26 am ET following a London’s Sunday Times article that said Rio Tinto had discussions with potential co-investors for a $6 billion-plus deal aimed at privatizing its giant copper-gold silver Oyu Tolgoi mine in southern Mongolia.
Currently, Turquoise Hill owns 66% of Oyu Tolgoi — equivalent to a 33.66% stake in the project for Rio — with the Mongolian government owning the remaining 34%.
According to the article, Rio wants to increase its stake in Turquoise Hill to 51% and have the rest of the Canadian firm acquired by single strategic buyer or consortium.
The Anglo-Australian giant has repeatedly said that wants copper to be one of its main pillars of growth, and so it named the boss of its copper and coal division Jean-Sébastien Jacques as the group’s new chief executive last March, replacing mining veteran Sam Walsh on the job.
Turquoise Hill is slated to begin work on an underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi later this year. The expansion project would increase the mine’s annual capacity to more than 500,000 metric tonnes of copper by 2027.