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NMDC, Rio Tinto scrap joint venture news
09 September 2011

India's state-run miner, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto have decided to scrap their 50:50 joint venture after their three year-old pact did not yield any results.

Rio Tinto's Bunder camp at Madhya Pradesh

After months of discussion, the two companies had signed the ambitious agreement on 18 August 2008 to prospect for iron ore and other minerals both within and outside the country.

''Opportunities in other minerals will also be booked for under the MoU,'' NMDC had said in a press release issued at that time. (See: NMDC, Rio Tinto in 50:50 mining venture)

But since then, both companies failed to gain anything tangible and allowed the agreement to expire on 17 August this year.

In December 2010, NMDC, India's biggest iron ore miner said that it plans to breathe life into the JV. ''We are planning to re-evaluate the contract that we signed. We are having a meeting with the Rio Tinto officials where we will decide how to take the MoU forward,'' NMDC chairman and managing director Rana Som had said at that time.

Som yesterday told The Indian Express, ''Three years have elapsed since we signed the MoU and nothing concrete has happened so far. We expected Rio to facilitate our entry into their home turf in Australia and elsewhere which remained elusive. So, there was no imminent prospects in renewing the MoU.''

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NMDC, Rio Tinto scrap joint venture