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27

Norilsk, Rio Tinto Created JV in Russia

RioNor Exploration is a limited liability company registered in Russia

Norilsk Nickel, Russia?s largest mining company, and Rio Tinto, one of the world?s largest mining companies, have created a joint exploration and development company RioNor Exploration.

RioNor Exploration is a limited liability company registered in Russia, owned 51 per cent by Norilsk Nickel and 49 per cent by Rio Tinto. Its headquarters will be located in Moscow.

At the first meeting of the board of directors, Maxim Finsky of the Norilsk Nickel group was nominated as chairman of the board of directors, and Bruno Hegner of the Rio Tinto Group was nominated as the general director of RioNor Exploration.

Initial efforts of the company will concentrate on exploration opportunities in the southern regions of the Siberian and Far-Eastern Federal Districts of Russia.

Maxim Finsky, chairman of RioNor Exploration and deputy general director of Norilsk Nickel, said: ?Rio Tinto and Norilsk Nickel have made another step forward in developing our cooperation. Now we have in place the vehicle which will enable the joint venture to explore the opportunities available in the targeted areas. We are progressing well in setting up necessary business processes and building the organization and exploration team?. He commented that the work programmes for the first stage of the cooperation project activity are already under way.

Earlier this year the companies signed a co-operation protocol in the Ministry of Natural Resources, followed by an agreement that established the formal terms governing their joint venture. The exploration and development company was created in accordance with the signed agreement.