Rio Tinto keen to revive JV with OMC

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Bhubaneswar: Though state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has rejected a 17-year-old joint venture with Rio Tinto terming as not being lucrative, the Australian mining major is keen to revive the Rs 11,000 crore pact, official sources said.

Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese who is scheduled to arrive here on a three day visit to the state, has sought appointment with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary B K Patnaik. He is likely to meet the chief minister today.

The high commissioner would arrive with Sam Walsh, Chief Executive Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, a letter sent by the high commissioner's office to the chief secretary said.

Though Rio Tinto had entered into a JV with OMC in 1995 for development of Gandhamardhan and Malangtoli iron ore reserves in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts, it did not materialise following dispute relating to the quantity of export of mineral from the state.

OMC CMD Saswat Mishra had said recently that the state miner was not interested to revive the joint venture with the Australian company as it was not lucrative.

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