Miner says merger of businesses was not in shareholders' interest.
Rio Tinto has responded to press speculation that its operations could be merged with those of fellow mining company Glencore, asserting that "no discussions are taking place".
In a statement released on October 7, Rio Tinto outlined that in July 2014, smaller mining business Glencore contacted the them with regards to a potential merger of Rio Tinto and Glencore. According to Reuters, the "blockbuster" deal would have created a US$160 billion (£99.51bn) mining and commodities trading giant.
The Rio Tinto board, after consultation with its financial and legal advisers, concluded unanimously that a combination was not in the best interests of Rio Tinto’s shareholders.
Rio Tinto says its board’s rejection was communicated to Glencore in early August and there has been no further contact between the companies on this matter.
Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said: "Under the leadership of Sam Walsh and Chris Lynch, Rio Tinto has made significant progress in refocusing and strengthening its business.
"The board believes that the continued successful execution of Rio Tinto’s strategy will allow Rio Tinto to increase free cash flow significantly in the near term and materially increase returns to shareholders. Rio Tinto’s shareholders stand to benefit from the very considerable value that this will generate."
The business says it remains focused on the successful execution of its strategy, with its board "confident will continue to deliver significant and sustainable value for shareholders".