September 28, 2010 / 4:58 AM / 9 years ago

Rio Tinto not interested in potash miner Uralkali stake-exec

DALIAN, China, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) has no interest in buying a stake in Russian potash producer Uralkali OAO (URKA.MM), a top executive said on Tuesday, countering a previous media report claiming the mining giant had sent executives to Russia to eye a possible deal.

On Sept. 8, the Vedomosti newspaper reported that a team from Rio Tinto had arrived in Russia, citing three sources. One of the sources said Rio was ready to buy a 10 to 15 percent stake in the Russian company based on a $15 billion valuation. [ID:nSGE6870L0]

The news comes as Potash Corp POT.TO, the world’s biggest fertiliser maker, fights off a $39 billion hostile bid by BHP Billiton BLT.L(BHP.AX).

“We don’t have any interest in Russia at the moment” Warwick Smith, managing director, sales & marketing, Rio Tinto iron ore, told Reuters on the sidelines of an iron ore conference in Dalian. (Reporting by Ruby Lian and Lucy Hornby, writing by Joseph Chaney; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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