Rio Tinto signs long-term agreements to supply Pilbara iron ore to Hyundai Steel

Rio Tinto and its joint venture partners have sealed long-term contracts to supply iron ore to Hyundai Steel, under which more than 40 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara will be exported to the Korean producer over the next decade.

Hyundai Steel is Korea’s second largest steel maker and the world’s second largest electric arc furnace (EAF) producer.

Under the contracts, Hamersley Iron, Robe River and Hope Downs will commence shipments in 2009 ramping up to an annual total of 4.6Mt from 2012 to 2019.

Sam Walsh, chief executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, said the agreements marked the next stage in a relationship that had endured through most of the lifespan of the Pilbara iron ore industry. “Rio Tinto has enjoyed a long relationship with Korea, going back to our first shipment in 1973. These agreements with Hyundai Steel are the culmination of several years’ negotiations and open the next chapter in what has been a successful, mutually rewarding partnership.”

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.

Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any representation or warranty (either express or implied) or gives any assurance that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this announcement will be achieved.

For further information, please contact:

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Media Relations, Americas

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Email: questions@riotinto.com

Websites: www.riotinto.com www.riotintoironore.com
High resolution photographs available at: www.newscast.co.uke attached media release was announced to the London Stock Exchange today at XXXX hours.

A full copy of the press release is also available on the Rio Tinto website: www.riotinto.com/media

High resolution photographs available at Newscast www.newscast.co.uk

Bryan Smith
Principal Adviser, Digital Media
Communications and External Relations