British-Australian metals and mining company is mulling the sale of 80% stake in the Northparkes copper mine in Australia in a bid to raise funds to reduce debts.
According to the industry sources, the company is expecting to raise around $800m from the stake sale.
OZ Minerals and China-based MMG are likely to bid for the majority stake in the mine, reported Reuters citing three sources familiar with the developments.
Rio Tinto is looking to conclude the bidding process by June 2013; however, the schedule is expected to delay if its 20% mine partner Sumitomo Metal Mining opts to exercise its option to match the superior offer.
Earlier in February 2013, Sumitomo announced its plans to increase its copper assets by two-fold to 330,693 tons a year within the next nine years.
Rio Tinto had previously dropped the plans of selling the mine for $700m after the offers it received valued the property too low.
OZ Minerals, meanwhile, is anticipated as a potential buyer that is currently seeking a source to facilitate the production drop at its Prominent Hill mine.