The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price will be one to watch on Wednesday morning. This comes after the mining giant provided an update to its Richard Bay Minerals in South Africa.
At yesterday’s market close, Rio Tinto shares finished the day at $125.
What did Rio Tinto announce?
Investors may act on their concerns about the company’s latest announcement to the ASX.
According to this morning’s release, Rio Tinto advised that it has declared “force majeure” on customer contracts at the Richard Bay Minerals. The legal term, force majeure refers to an event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled.
Rio Tinto stated that the security condition at its operations has unfortunately escalated as violence and destruction has raged. Last month, a senior manager at the site was murdered, and heavy equipment was set alight.
This has led the company to suspend all mining and smelting operations until the safety and security of the situation improves.
Rio Tinto chief executive Minerals, Sinead Kaufman touched on the current situation, saying:
The safety of our people is our top priority. We continue to offer our full support to the investigating authorities and I would like to acknowledge the ongoing support of the regional and national governments and South African Police Service as we work together to ensure that we can safely resume operations.
The Zulti South project, also in South Africa is still in limbo with operations in full suspension since 2019.
Rio Tinto share price summary
While the news is concerning, Rio Tinto shares have risen 27% over the course of the last 12 months. The company’s share price reached a 52-week high of $132.94 in mid-May before moving in circles.
Rio Tinto commands a market capitalisation of roughly $46.4 billion, making it the eleventh largest company on the ASX. The company has more than 371 million shares listed on its registry.