Rio Tinto and Chinalco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on developing new mining technology.
According to Rio "the parties aim to draw on their respective strengths to expedite the development of new mining technology and further develop Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future program".
At the announcement of the partnership, RioTinto CEO Sam Walsh said "by matching Chinalco's resources and intellectual horsepower with the experience and the diverse portfolio of ideas developed by Rio Tinto, we can create something of real value for both groups that exceeds what either one of us could do alone".
In a Rio Tinto statement, it said "the aim is to develop and deploy leading-edge technology to create safer working operations, improve environmental performance and increase the productivity of mining operations".
Chinalco's chairman Xiong Weiping added that "the technical co-operation is of great significance for improving efficiency, reducing resource and energy consumption, developing green and safe mines, achieving sustainable development of resources and introducing innovation into economic growth.
"I hope this commercial cooperation approach of sincerity and mutual benefit can be widely applied into new-type partnerships among major international companies."
The two companies will begin to work together to look at how to the partnership will operate, whilst the official arrangements under the MoU remain subject to the execution of a binding agreement.