Rio Tinto Raises Prices for North American Talc Products

Rio Tinto Minerals, Denver, Colo., USA, has announced a 5% price increase, effective July 15, for talc products from its Montana, Vermont, and Canadian operations. The company noted that the increase will help offset the effects of a continuous rise in energy and fuel costs directly related to mining, processing, packaging, and transportation.

"We have a strong track record of improving operating efficiencies and these efforts will continue," says Kent Cutler, VP Sales – Americas. "At the same time, it is essential that we adjust our pricing to offset cost increases beyond our control in order to maintain the service levels and product quality that make a difference to our customers."

Rio Tinto's talc business employs some 1,000 people at 24 locations in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. It supplies approximately 20% of the global demand for talc under the Luzenac brand. On February 23, the company received a binding offer from Imerys (France) to acquire its talc business for an enterprise value of $340 million. A period of exclusivity with Imerys has been agreed, and Rio Tinto says it will respond to this binding offer following consultation with the relevant European works councils.