Rio takes on Rinehart for $200 million

Partners in mining take action against each other.

In what seems counterproductive to their joint Pilbara iron ore projects, Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) is preparing to take Gina Rinehart and a third party back into the courtroom over a $200 million dispute.

Australia’s richest woman previously filed a successful claim in the New South Wales supreme court showing that Rio should have been paying royalties to both Mrs Rinehart and mining heiress and businesswomen Angela Bennet. Rio is set to appeal it once again by saying “a notice of intention to appeal has been filed in respect of the court’s decision”.

It seems to be a vicious circle in mining. Ms Bennet has also sued Mrs Rinehart for 50% of three claims held as part of the Hope Downs mine, which is currently operated by Rio’s iron ore division and is partnered with Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

In other news, Rio yesterday released its quarterly production report which showed slightly better than expected figures and record iron ore levels. The guidance reaffirmed its position as Australia’s biggest exporter (by volume) of iron ore.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any of the mentioned companies.  

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