Rio Tinto faces storm overpebble on a beachPublished by MAC on 2007-02-02
Rio Tinto faces storm overpebble on a beach
2nd Feburary 2007
Last week, Rio Tinto announced record results for 2006. The world's second largest mining company scored a net profit of US$7.44 billion - 43% up on its 2005 earnings.
CEO Leigh Clifford announced that the company would be targeting four major copper and gold deposits: Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia (where Rio is partnered with Ivanhoe), La Granja in Peru, Arizona's Resolution venture (copper-gold) - and the Pebble mine in Alaska.
Though the latter is majority-owned by Canada's Northern Dynasty, on February 2 Rio Tinto paid nearly a hundred million dollars to secure 19.8 percent of Northern Dynasty's equity.
Pebble is shaping up to be the most controversial new mining project in the US, while the UK-Australian company is facing a coalition of opponents as broad as that which attempted (but failed) to halt its Flambeau mine in Wisconsin during the late eighties.
Already, the US NGO, Earthworks, has called on the jewelery trade to boycott any gold deriving from Pebble, saying that many native Alaskans fear it will destroy their very way of life.
Such opposition has never trouble Rio Tinto in the past - certainly not where one of the world's biggest potential deposits of gold and copper are concerned.