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Rio Tinto agrees to sell Kalahari Minerals shares to China

Feb. 2, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Rio Tinto Group, the second biggest iron ore exporter in the world, has accepted an offer made by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp or CGNPC for roughly 11.1% stake in London-listed Kalahari Minerals PLC.

Rio Tinto said it has agreed to sell 28.3 million shares of Kalahari Minerals, which holds a 42.5% stake in Australia-based Extract Resources Ltd, the operator of Namibia-located Husab project, one of the world's largest uranium mines.

CGNPC has yet commented on the news.

The deal is expected to push CGNPC closer to control Extract Resources, said analysts.

CGNPC and China-Africa Development Fund, which have acquired a combined 30.8% stake in Kalahari Minerals, expect to increase the shareholdings to roughly 42% after the deal. However, it is still less than the 50% threshold that would trigger an A$2.2 billion offer for Extract Resources, sources reported.

On Dec. 8, 2011, CGNPC and the fund made an offer for the 11.1% stake in Kalahari Minerals at a price of 243.55 pence in cash or £632 million or US$996 million in total consideration.

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