Rio Tinto jv with Richards Bay signs BBBEE deal

December 11, 2008

Rio Tinto's South African joint venture with BHP Billiton Plc ("BHPB"), Richards Bay Minerals ("RBM"), announced that agreements with a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment ("BBBEE") Consortium were signed today, in which 24 per cent of RBM will be transferred to a group comprising local communities and investors with a further 2 per cent to be transferred to a trust for the benefit of RBM employees.

This means that RBM will be fully empowered in accordance with the South African Mining Industry Charter five years ahead of the required empowerment date in 2014. The business of RBM involves the mining and processing of titanium-bearing ores to produce titanium dioxide feed stocks, associated minerals and various co-products and by-products.

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