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Rio Tinto has confirmed it is in talks about the potential purchase of its stake in the Indonesian Grasberg mine for $3.5 billion.

The mining giant said discussions about the sale – including the price – are underway with with aluminium manufacturer and supplier, PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, and Freeport-Indonesia, which owns and operates the mine.

Rio Tinto, which has a joint venture with Freeport for a 40 per cent share of production, said no agreement has been reached and there is no certainty that binding agreements will be signed.