05/06/2009 - 09:51

Sam Walsh appointed to Rio Tinto board

05/06/2009 - 09:51

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Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh has been appointed to the board of the mining group and will lead the Western Australian iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton.

Sam Walsh appointed to Rio Tinto board

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh has been appointed to the board of the mining group and will lead the Western Australian iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton.

Mr Walsh will take up an executive director position on the board and will be the initial chairman of the entity overlooking the merged Rio and BHP iron ore assets in WA.

BHP Billiton iron ore chief executive Ian Ashby will become the intial chief executive of the merged iron ore entity.

Earlier this morning, both mining giants announced a proposal to combine their respective WA iron ore assets which will realise over $US10 billion in synergies.

The JV proposal comes as Rio terminates its deal with Chinalco that would have injected $US19.5 billion into the group and increased the Chinese entity's stake in Rio from 9 per cent to around 18 per cent.

Rio has instead opted to raise $US15.2 billion through rights issues both in London and in Australia.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

Sam Walsh, Chief executive, Rio Tinto Iron Ore, has been appointed to the boards of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited as an executive director, effective immediately.

It has also been announced today that Rio Tinto has agreed with BHP Billiton to establish a production joint venture covering the entirety of both companies' Western Australian iron ore assets. Sam Walsh will become the initial chairman of the non-executive owners' council of the joint venture, as set out in that announcement. Aged 59, he has been chief executive of Rio Tinto's Iron Ore group since 2004. He joined Rio Tinto in 1991 and has held a number of management positions within the group, including chief executive of the Aluminium Group from 2001 to 2004.

Jan du Plessis, Rio Tinto chairman, said: "I am very pleased to welcome Sam to the Rio Tinto boards. Sam's election is a fitting recognition of his excellent leadership of, and contribution to, the success of our iron ore group, and the wealth of experience within our business that he brings to the table."

 

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