Chalco still interested in Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources

Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) is still open to buying into Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper project from Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd (formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines), just two months after it backed out from the deal due to opposition from the Mongolian government.

"If Rio Tinto and its shareholders think Chalco has added-value for them, Chalco is still willing to be involved in the project. It's a mutual choice. We keep the option open." Chalco's senior vice president Liu Xiangmin today told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference in Tianjin.

In April, Chinese state-owned Chalco had offered to buy Mongolia-focused Turquoise Hill's majority stake in SouthGobi Resources for $926 million, in order to diversify into other commodities like coal. (See: Chalco to buy Ivanhoe Mines' stake in SouthGobi Resources for $926 mn).

Under the deal, Chalco planned to buy Turquoise Hill's 57.6-per cent stake in SouthGobi Resources for $928 million and acquire as much as 60 per cent of Turquoise Hill at C$8.48 a share, or around C$533-million.

Chalco, China's biggest aluminum producer had also agreed to buy the entire production of SouthGobi for two years.

Chalco's parent, Chinalco is London-based Rio Tinto's single largest shareholder, with a 12.9-per cent stake, who in turn, holds a majority stake in Turquoise Hill.