Rio Tinto is talking up its future prospects, in advance of its London annual general meeting next month.
A huge nickel mine is slated for Indonesia; the company is about to take over a vast iron ore field in Orissa.
And it’s just announced a £1.9 billion deal with its largest single shareholder, the Chinese Aluminum Corporation (Chinalco), in order to advance the Simandou iron project in Guinea.
Rio Tinto is the world’s second biggest iron ore producer (after Vale), while BHP Billiton is the third.
This week, Don Argus of BHP Billiton said he expected that the long-delayed merger of much of the two companies’ Australian iron ore output would be completed by the end of this year. However, the deal has still to be approved by the European Union, and has met stiff protest from the Chinese regime.
If the joint venture materialises, it will create the second most valuable mining oufit on the planet – next only to BHP Billiton itself.