Rio Tinto to sell its 50.1 per cent stake in Clermont mine

RIO Tinto has agreed to sell its 50.1 per cent stake in the Clermont thermal coal mine in central Queensland for US$1.05 billion to a company jointly owned by Glencore Xstrata and Sumitomo Corporation.

Under the terms of the sale, Glencore Xstrata will take over the management of the Clermont mine.

Rio Tinto chief financial officer Chris Lynch said the sale allowed the company to realise value for shareholders as they continue optimising their portfolio.

"Rio Tinto remains committed to a long-term future in central Queensland," he said.

"Production has commenced from the US$2 billion extension of the Kestrel mine and studies are underway to expand production from the Hail Creek mine.

"We expect Clermont mine will continue to perform strongly under its new ownership and make an ongoing contribution as a member of the local community."