Business

Rio shareholders back Australia mines sale to Yancoal

Rio Tinto shareholders Thursday overwhelmingly supported the sale of most of the mining giant's Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal, paving the way for the completion of the deal.

Rio Tinto shareholders Thursday overwhelmingly supported the sale of most of the mining giant's Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal, paving the way for the completion of the deal.
Rio Tinto shareholders Thursday overwhelmingly supported the sale of most of the mining giant's Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal, paving the way for the completion of the deal. (AFP)

Rio Tinto shareholders Thursday overwhelmingly supported the sale of most of the mining giant's Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal, paving the way for the completion of the deal.

Shareholders for the world's second-largest miner, which is dual-listed in Britain and Australia, voted 97.2 percent in favour of the US$2.45 billion offer at their respective annual general meetings, Rio said in a statement.

Shares in Rio were trading 3.28 percent higher at Aus$63.35 late afternoon in Sydney.

The decision came days after Rio's board said it favoured Yancoal over two bids for the assets in New South Wales state from Swiss commodities giant Glencore, which were more than US$100 million higher.

Rio had added that the Yancoal deal was expected to be completed faster due to greater funding and regulatory certainty.

Yancoal has already been given the green light by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, while the Glencore plan would be subject to regulatory approval.

Rio, which in February reported a surge in annual net profit thanks to improving commodity prices, is selling Coal & Allied in a divestment drive that analysts expect will lead to a complete exit from the sector.