USA - Rio Tinto chairman says committed to Chinalco deal

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The new chairman of miner Rio Tinto - Jan du Plessis said Rio's board was committed to the group's proposed $19.5 billion tie up with China's state-owned Chinalco, playing down talk the group had a plan B.

Speaking at a press conference following the group's annual shareholder meeting in Sydney, du Plessis also said he had not met with BHP Billiton's chairman in the past 24 hours.  There had been media speculation that representatives from Rio and BHP had held informal talks at the weekend.

Du Plessis, chairman of British American Tobacco Plc , was appointed to the same position at Rio after a previous failed attempt to find a new chairman.  Chairman-elect Jim Leng quit the board after objecting to the Chinalco deal.