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Rio Tinto Ups Stake In Ivanhoe Mines

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto increased its ownership in the Canadian company to 22.4 percent for a total investment of $232 million.

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto said Monday it has acquired 15 millions shares in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., increasing its ownership in the Canadian company to 22.4 percent.

Rio Tinto bought each share at 16.31 Canadian dollars ($15.50), for a total investment of CA$244 million ($232 million) and a 2.7 percent jump in ownership.

"Our further investment in Ivanhoe Mines underlines our confidence in the quality of the world-class Oyu Tolgoi deposit and its priority in our project portfolio," Andrew Harding, Rio's chief executive for copper, said of the Mongolian copper-gold complex.

A statement from Rio Tinto said the shares were part of a 2008 arrangement with Ivanhoe to finance equipment for the complex.

Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines are development partners for the Oyu Tolgoi project. Production is expected to begin in 2013, with a five year ramp up to full expected production of 450,000 tons of copper per year and 330,000 ounces of gold.

After the completion of the acquisition, Rio Tinto will own 98.6 million shares of Ivanhoe Mines.

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