Rio Tinto To Resume Operations At Richards Bay Minerals

Rio Tinto at the end of December started the process of resuming operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa. This followed discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders focused on securing stability in order to address the issues in the community and provide the stable environment necessary for RBM to resume operations.

RBM is expected to return to full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020.

Rio Tinto will review the restart of the Zulti South project after normalisation of operations at RBM. The Zulti South project, as announced in April 2019, is a $463million (Rio Tinto share $343 million) investment that will sustain RBM’s current capacity and extend mine life. It was announced early December 2019, that construction of the Zulti South project had been temporarily paused.

Bold Baatar, chief executive, Energy & Minerals said “The safety and security of our people is always our first priority and we are pleased that we will now be able to get back to work creating value for our people, our communities, South Africa and RBM’s shareholders.

“I would like to thank the Government of South Africa and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal for their support and assistance in getting us to a position where we can restart operations at RBM. I would also acknowledge the work of community leaders and the police over the previous few weeks.”

The media release notes that, “As previously advised, titanium dioxide slag production for 2019 is now expected to be at the bottom end of 2019 guidance of between 1.2 and 1.4 million tonnes.”

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