Ceramic Industry

du Plessis Appointed Chairman of Rio Tinto (posted 3/19/09)

March 19, 2009
As previously announced, Rio Tinto’s current chairman, Paul Skinner, will retire from the boards at the conclusion of the AGM.

Rio Tinto recently announced that Jan du Plessis will be appointed chairman of the boards, effective at the conclusion of the annual general meeting (AGM) of Rio Tinto Limited on April 20, 2009. He joined the boards as a non-executive director on September 1, 2008. As previously announced, Rio Tinto’s current chairman, Paul Skinner, will retire from the boards as chairman and a non-executive director at the conclusion of the AGM.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Rio Tinto Boards at a time of significant change and to be working with such a strong management team led by chief executive, Tom Albanese,” said du Plessis. “Our immediate focus must be on giving Rio Tinto the best possible platform to create shareholder value and to weather the tough and uncertain global economic conditions. Pursuing the completion of the transaction with Chinalco will give Rio Tinto this platform, from which we will be even better placed to prosper when we see economic recovery.”

According to Andrew Gould, Rio Tinto’s senior independent director, “On re-starting the search for a successor to Paul Skinner, the nominations committee focused on identifying a candidate with outstanding abilities and experience to lead the Rio Tinto boards. Jan du Plessis brings a wealth of international business experience to the role and has clearly demonstrated his capabilities since he joined the boards in September. I am delighted that he will be taking up the role of chairman. I would like to thank Paul Skinner for agreeing to stay on until a successor was found and for his contribution to the company during his tenure.”

du Plessis will continue to be chairman of the board of British American Tobacco plc, a role he has held since 2004. He is a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Lloyds Banking Group plc, although he has indicated that he intends to stand down from that role in due course. du Plessis has also been a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer Group PLC since November 2008.

Visit www.riotinto.com for more information.