Rio Tinto has entered a joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) to explore and potentially develop the company’s assets in Chile’s prospective Atacama region.
The companies will start their joint exploration project at Agua de la Falda. Rio Tinto recently completed the acquisition of PanAmerican Silver’s 57.74% stake in the asset for $45 million and the grant of net smelter returns royalties.
“Chile is one of the most important sources of the copper and other critical minerals the world needs to deliver the energy transition and achieve net zero,” said Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm.
“With this partnership, we are bringing together our complementary experience and capabilities. Codelco’s local knowledge and expertise is second to none and we have a global track record in exploration. I am very much looking forward to getting our work on the ground started.”
Agua de la Falda has previously been explored for precious metals with minimal modern exploration for copper. Analysis by Rio Tinto Exploration indicates it is prospective for new copper discoveries, which will now be the focus of the joint venture Nuevo Cobre (New Copper).
Source: Rio Tinto