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Trio of global miners interested in acquiring Rio Tinto's share in Murowa

Trio of global miners interested in acquiring Rio Tinto
Three major global mining companies have expressed interest in buying Rio Tinto Plc's 78-percent stake in the Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe.
Rio Tinto is one of the world's largest mining and exploration firms. It said last year that it aimed to divest itself of its diamond business which it had decided did not fit in with its core mining business.

Murowa has an annual output of more than 300,000 carats, and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed RioZim Limited owns the 22 percent of the business that does not belong to Rio Tinto.

"Three companies have expressed interest in the mine," a source close to both Murowa and Rio Tinto said in comments in a report on "One of the companies was here (recently), carrying out due diligence processes. Others are still working on that," the source added.

Reports said that Murowa's management was interested in acquiring Rio Tinto's holding, however it is unclear as to whether they would be able to raise the funds needed.

No price estimate was provided for Rio Tinto's stake in the Murowa operation, although analysts say that Rio's entire diamond business would probably cost a buyer around $1.2 billion.

In addition to Murowa, Rio Tinto's other diamond operations include the fully owned Argyle mine in Western Australia, and a 60-percent holding in the Diavik mine in Canada's NorthWest Territories.

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