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Rio Tinto’s Canada Deal Hits Trouble

Star Diamond accuses mining giant of not complying with terms of joint venture.
Feb 19, 2020 9:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Star Diamond Corporation has accused Rio Tinto of not complying with the terms of a joint-venture agreement for operating the Star-Orion South exploration project in Canada.

In 2017, Rio Tinto entered into a deal with the Canadian miner giving it the right to acquire shares in the proposed mine in Saskatchewan. In November, five years earlier than its original deadline, Rio Tinto gave Star Diamond notice it wanted to purchase a 60% stake in the site.

However, a review by a special committee at Star Diamond, together with independent legal counsel, found that Rio Tinto did not comply with all the terms of the agreement, Star Diamond said Tuesday.

Additionally, Rio Tinto has not provided Star Diamond with data from its drilling operations at the site, the Canadian miner said. Despite this, the company still supports Rio Tinto’s involvement in the project. Star Diamond has sent Rio Tinto notice that it must immediately comply with all its obligations under the agreement.

“Star Diamond is committed to taking all actions necessary to ensure that the interests of the corporation, its shareholders and its many Saskatchewan-based and other stakeholders are protected in connection with the project, including by enforcing all of Star Diamond’s rights under the agreement,” the company noted.

Star Diamond has stated its intent to reach a resolution, either through the courts or by a “negotiated solution,” it explained.

Rio Tinto did not respond to a request for comment by Rapaport News at press time.

Image: The Star-Orion South site. (Star Diamond Corp.)
Tags: Rapaport News, Rio Tinto, Star Diamond, Star Diamond Corporation, Star-Orion exploration project
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