Anglo's Cutifani shows Rio how to break cover on Winu

7th December 2018
Resources Rising Stars

A reluctant Rio Tinto should do itself a favour and look at how Anglo American’s Aussie expat chief executive Mark Cutifani recently handled rampant speculation that the company had made a big copper-gold discovery (writes Barry FitzGerald on MiningNews).

Unlike Rio, which has refused to say anything about its Winu copper (and gold?) discovery in WA's north Paterson region, Cutifani was sensibly forthcoming on an investor call for the group's second quarter results on July 26.

Cutifani was well aware that word had got out that the company had made a porphyry copper-gold discovery on the Juruena belt in Brazil in 2017, prompting an unprecedented pegging rush by itself and others in the region - not unlike the Winu situation.

"For those that have been tracking us you're probably aware that we drilled some holes in Brazil, six holes. We stopped. We've actually pegged out a fairly substantial land position. I think it's five times the size of Kent, where as in Australia, it's about the size of Gina's backyard,'' Cutifani said.

"You gotta be careful with this stuff because it may not be what we hope it is. And so in the next six months we'll do all the anomaly tests. We'll do additional drilling. I think we will have something more sensible to say at the end of the year.''

"But again, I am also aware of the chatter in Brazil. So it would look rather odd not to say something, given where we are. We prefer to wait six months and be clear about what we may or may not have, but it's encouraging. Does that help?''

It certainly did and was the polar opposite to Rio's handling of the chatter around Winu (a name it is yet to confirm).

Rio is now under immense pressure from the WA exploration industry to do a "Cutifani" on Winu. It's not a big ask.



Image via Financial Times

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