The JV will encompass the company’s southern tenements in Tanzania including Miteja, Kiswere, Sudi and Mtwara.

Image: Strandline Resources.


RIO Tinto has entered an earn-in joint venture agreement with ASX-listed Strandline Resources for a majority interest in the company’s mineral sands tenements in southern Tanzania.

The terms of the agreement require Rio Tinto to spend $US5 million within three and a half years to earn a 51 per cent participating interest, including a mandatory commitment of $US2 million within 18 months.

A second stage payment of $US4 million was also required within two years to earn a 75 per cent interest in the project, plus cash payments totalling $US1.75 million over the course of the agreement.

Both parties will begin an initial soil sampling fieldwork in the next two months, funded by an ‘at risk’ payment of $US340,000 from Rio Tinto.

The agreement covered Strandline’s suite of tenements in the southern region of Tanzania including the Miteja, Kiswere, Sudi and Mtwara prospects, plus a surrounding “area of interest”.

Strandline managing director and chief executive Luke Graham said the commitment from Rio Tinto confirmed the Tanzania tenements’ potential as a world-class mining region.

“The company is delighted by the merits of this strategic partnership with Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest and most respected exploration and mining companies,” Mr Graham said.

“This transaction delivers a strong source of funding and regional mineral sands expertise to significantly enhance the development potential of the company’s southern ground in Tanzania, with a view to ultimately develop one or more economic mineral sands mines.

“Rio Tinto has undertaken technical reviews and site inspection of the project area and this agreement contemplates mobilisation of exploration activity led by Strandline as soon as practicable to take advantage of the current field season.”