Rio Tinto and China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd. signed an agreement to enter discussions to extend the Bao-HI iron ore joint venture in Pilbara, Western Australia.
The joint venture pertains to the Eastern Ranges mine and Western Range project. Rio Tinto started a pre-feasibility study on Western Range that it expects to complete by the end of 2019.
Rio Tinto owns 54% of the joint venture, and China Baowu holds the remaining 46%.
The project has sold more than 180 million tonnes since its 2002 inception.