The Wall Street Journal said at the weekend that the Anglo-Australian miner - which owns a 59% stake in Iron Ore Co of Canada - was unable to settle on a suitable price with potential buyers as iron-ore prices have been volatile.
Iron Ore Co. of Canada produces iron-ore concentrate and pellets from mining operations and processing facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador, and also runs port facilities in Quebec.
The business is a joint venture between Rio Tinto, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., which owns 26%, and the Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corp., which owns 15%.
Rio Tinto recorded net earnings of $166 million from the business in 2018, down from $235 million a year earlier, although the operations had been suspended for two months during the year due to labour negotiations.
A number of global mining companies including Rio Tinto have been selling off a string of assets in recent years to cut their debt and focus on operations that are more profitable.
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