The chief executive of global mining firm Rio Tinto has met with top executives at the new Chinese state-owned agency created with an aim of centralizing the country’s iron ore purchases.
Beijing created the China Mineral Resources Group in August, with registered capital of 20 billion yuan ($3 billion). The move was seen as Beijing’s effort to gain more clout with suppliers like Rio, BHP Group, Fortescue Metals Group, Vale and others over pricing.
Rio’s CEO Jakob Stausholm and chief commercial officer Alf Barrios held a video meeting with the senior management of the Group on Sept. 1, the company said in a statement in Mandarin on its Chinese website on Monday.
“Rio Tinto Group is very honoured to have the opportunity to become a strategic partner with China Minerals, and work together to deepen comprehensive cooperation in various fields and achieve win-win development,” Stausholm said in the statement.
Yao Lin, Chairman of China Minerals said the group was willing to establish a strategic partnership with Rio and to work on win-win and sustainable supply chain system to develop China’s steel industry.
China is exposed to international prices of iron ore as it must import nearly 80% of its annual consumption of about 1.2 billion tonnes of the steelmaking raw material.
(By Praveen Menon and Stella Qiu; Editing by Lincoln Feast)