Rio Tinto Plc has agreed to acquire the majority stake in South African mineral sands group Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) through a deal with joint-venture partner BHP Billiton Plc.
The deal comes amid a push by Rio Tinto to expand its titanium dioxide feedstock capacity through investments in its global operations in market where prices are rising.
The Anglo-Australian mining giant has agreed to buy BHPs 37% stake in RBM, located in South Africas east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal, bringing its total interest to 74%.
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) parties will retain 24% of RBM, with employees holding 2%.
The acquisition was triggered by BHP exercising an option agreed by the two companies as part of RBMs restructuring in 2009.
Rio Tinto said the cost of acquisition would be set through an agreement already in place, following regulatory approvals.
Doubling our stake in the...