LONDON, U.K. — RIO TINTO has agreed to buy more than 5.5 million more common shares of Vancouver-based ASHTON MINING OF CANADA for gross proceeds of $7.76 million. Following the acquisition, Rio Tinto will hold approximately a 52% interest in Ashton.
Ashton (www.Aston.ca) is hunting with 50/50 joint venture partner SOQUEM for diamonds in Quebec’s Otish Mountains. The most advanced property is Foxtrot, which hosts the Renard kimberlites. A bulk sampling program is underway.
Rio Tinto (www.RioTinto.com) is a one of the world’s leading mineral producers. The company operates the Diavik diamond mine (Aber Diamond Corp. is 40% owner) in the Northwest Territories. Rio Tinto holds a share of Iron Ore Co. of Canada, and owns QIT-Fer et Titane which mines titanium in Quebec.