Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4543
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: RIO TINTO PLC
Date(s): 1700s - 2009
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 61.85 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Rio Tinto plc | metals and mining company xx Rio Tinto Company Limited
Rio Tinto plc was formed in June 1997 with the merger of The RTZ Corporation PLC and its' 49% owned associate company CRA Limited (of Australia).
The Rio Tinto-Zinc Corporation Limited was formed in March 1962 on the merger of The Rio Tinto Company Ltd (Inc 1873) and The Consolidated Zinc Corporation Limited(Inc 1949). After the merger, the operations of the Rio Tinto Company and The Consolidated Zinc Corporation were restructured, with the parent company, RTZ, housed in London.
Rio Tinto's existing public company in Australia, Rio Tinto Mining Company of Australia Limited was renamed Conzinc RioTinto of Australia Limited in 1962. Conzinc RioTinto was used as a vehicle for restructuring RTZ's Australian assets. Part of the shares were Australian owned and there were a majority of Australian directors on the board. This was a pattern that was followed in subsequent developments around the world. In August 1980 Conzinc RioTinto became known as CRA Limited. This name was changed to Rio Tinto Limited in June 1997.
The Rio Tinto Company Limited was formed in 1873 by a consortium of banks to acquire the Spanish copper mine of Rio Tinto in Huelva, Spain. Headed by Hugh Matheson, the consortium agreed to pay 92,756,592 pesetas (equivalent to £3,500,000) for the freehold of the mines. The first instalment of 3422,680 was paid towards the purchase price as well as 9 pagares, or promissory notes, the last of which was due for payment in 1883. Matheson became the chairman and the company was registered on 29 March 1873 in London. A railway between Huelva and the mines was constructed together with a pier at Huelva. In 1954 the Rio Tinto Company sold the mines to the newly formed Compañía Española de Minas de Río Tinto (owned by a consortium of Spanish banks), retaining only a one-third interest. The remaining interest in was divested in 1990. The proceeds of the sale in 1954 were invested on projects in Africa such as Big Ben, Patchway, Sandwana, Empress Nickel and Palabora, in Australasia such as Mary Kathleen and in Canada on the Rio Algom mines.
The Consolidated Zinc Corporation Limited was incorporated in 1949 to acquire the interests of The Zinc Corporation Limited (formed 1911), The Sulphide Corporation (reg 1898), The Broken Hill Corporation Limited (registered 1947) and The Imperial Smelting Corporation Limited (inc 1929). The Zinc Corporation Limited was formed to treat the tailing dumps from the Broken Hill mine in New South Wales Australia. The Broken Hill Corporation Limited held a substantial interest in the New Broken Hill Consolidated Limited mine. The Sulphide Corporation Limited was a producer of sulphuric acid, superphosphate and cement. The Imperial Smelting Corporation based in the United Kingdom was the sole zinc producer in the country mainly from raw material from the Broken Hill mines, it also produced sulphuric acid, chemicals, fertilisers and fluorine and fluorine compounds in plants in Avonmouth, Avon, Swansea and West Glamorgan. In 1955 Consolidated Zinc discovered the huge Weipa bauxite deposits in Queensland, the basis for the development of a major integrated aluminium industry in Australia and New Zealand.
Rio Tinto Company Limited head office: Plantation House, Fenchurch Street, City of London (1947);
Rio Tinto plc head office: 2 Eastbourne Terrace, Westminster (2011).
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of Rio Tinto Company Limited including memorandum and articles of association; minutes of the board and committees; annual reports and accounts; seal registers; papers relating to shares; letter books; subject files concerning the company and its operations; records of the chairman, directors, overseas department and technical department; financial papers; records of the Madrid office; letter books relating to the Spanish mines; plans of head offices and mines; printed material and photographs of operations in Spain.
Records of The Pyrites Company Limited have also been catalogued. These records include board minutes, directors' attendance books, register of directors' holdings, papers relating to The Pyrites Company Incorporated, register of members and share ledger, ledgers, accounts, agreements and contracts to supply pyrites, photographs of Wilmington Plant, and staff books.
Records of other companies under Rio Tinto plc are uncatalogued and require prior notice to be ordered. Main companies represented are: A.G. Exploration Company Limited, Anglo-Peruvian Alluvials Limited, Borax Europe Limited, Borax Consolidated Limited, Borax Holdings Limited, Borax Limited, Borax International Limited, Borax Research Limited, Borax Overseas Holdings Limited, The Cam and Motor Gold Mining Company (1919) Limited, Consolidated Zinc Company Limited, Imperial Smelting Corporation Limited, Luzenac UK Limited, Mineral Properties Investigations limited, N.S.C. London, The Pyrites Company Incorporation, Rio Tinto Australian Holdings Limited, Rio Tinto Technology Development Limited, Rio Tinto Minerals Limited, Rio Tinto Metals Limited and The Zinc Corporation Limited.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material:
English, some Spanish and French.
System of arrangement:
Records currently catalogued are arranged as follows:
LMA/4543/01 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: CORPORATE
LMA/4543/02 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: SHARES
LMA/4543/03 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: HEAD OFFICE ADMINISTRATION
LMA/4543/04 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: FINANCE AND TAXATION
LMA/4543/05 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: INVESTMENTS
LMA/4543/06 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: OPERATIONS AND BRANCHES
LMA/4543/09 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: STAFF AND EMPLOYMENT
LMA/4543/10 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: PREMISES AND PROPERTY
LMA/4543/11 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: PRINTED MATERIAL, HISTORIES AND RELATED DOCUMENTATION
LMA/4543/12 RIO TINTO COMPANY LIMITED: PHOTOGRAPHS
LMA/4543/PY01 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: CORPORATE
LMA/4543/PY02 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: SHARES
LMA/4543/PY03 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: ADMINISTRATION
LMA/4543/PY04 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL
LMA/4543/PY05 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: OPERATIONS
LMA/4543/PY06 THE PYRITES COMPANY LIMITED: STAFF AND EMPLOYMENT
Conditions governing access:
All records dating from 01 January 1962 are closed and no permission for access will be granted from the depositor, although published material is available for general access. Other records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Immediate source of acquisition:
Deposited in January 2010.
Also held are records of the Diocese in Europe: English Church at the "Minas de Rio Tinto" in Spain (reference CLC/357). These comprise registers or notes of baptisms 1951-1957 marriages undated and 1950 and death 1933 (Ms 23639-41), service register 1931-58 (Ms 23640), and offertory account book 1912-28 (Ms 23640).
For further information see company histories:
Avery, David.Not on Queen Victoria's Birthday. The Story of the Rio Tinto Mines, Collins, 1974. This publication was published by Rio Tinto to celebrate its centenary. It describes the history of The Rio Tinto Company and its Spanish , mine, from 1874 to 1954 with epilogue covering period to 1970. From the 1870s to the 1950s, Rio Tinto's major area of operations was its Spanish mine at Rio Tinto in Andalusia.
Harvey, Charles E. The Rio Tinto Company. An Economic History of a leading International Mining Concern, 1873-1954, Alison Hodge, 1981. This publication by an economic / business historian concentrates on the Spanish operations, but also describes the diversification which led to investments in mining operations in Africa.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: Added May 2013, updated May and July 2017.