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Australia delays call on Chinalco-Rio deal
Updated: 2009-03-16 14:54

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) decided on Monday to delay the decision on Chinese major mining company Chinalco and Australia's aluminium producer Rio Tinto's deal for 90 days, according to report of Australian Associated Press.

File photo shows a worker inspecting iron ore stockpiles at a Rio Tinto outback location in Marandoo, Australia. [Agencies]

Chinalco proposed to buy 18 percent of Rio Tinto in February but will need FIRB approval.

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The US$19.5 billion investment by Chinalco will give it stakes in a number of Rio Tinto's assets, and increase its interest in the dual-listed miner from nine percent to 18 percent.

The transaction, which has been backed by the Rio Tinto board, will also allow Chinalco to appoint two new non-executive board members to the global miners board.

Rio said the company will use the capital injection from Chinalco to help tackle the US$38 billion debt it incurred by buying Canadian aluminium producer Alcan Inc in 2007.