JAKARTA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto is considering walking away from its interest in the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport McMoRan Inc in Indonesia, The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday, citing the mining giant’s chief executive.
“There is no doubt it is a world-class resource, but I’m not sure Grasberg is a world-class business for us,” the newspaper reported Rio CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques as saying.
Rio will decide in “coming weeks and months” whether to sell or walk away from its option to take an effective 40 percent stake in Grasberg in 2021, he said.
Rio has a joint venture with Freeport for a 40 per cent share of Grasberg’s production above specific levels until 2021, then 40 per cent of all production after 2021. (Reporting by Fergus Jensen in JAKARTA and Nicole Mordant in VANCOUVER)