||Rio Tinto’s predecessor companies were formed in 1873 and 1905. The Rio Tinto Company was formed by investors in 1873 to mine ancient copper workings at Rio Tinto, near Seville in southern Spain. The Consolidated Zinc Corporation was incorporated in 1905 to treat zinc bearing mine waste at Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.
The RTZ Corporation (formerly The Rio Tinto-Zinc Corporation) was formed in 1962 by the merger of The Rio Tinto Company and The Consolidated Zinc Corporation.
CRA Limited (formerly Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Limited) was formed at the same time by a merger of the Australian interests of The Consolidated Zinc Corporation and The Rio Tinto Company in 1962. in 1980 it officially changed it's name to CRA Limited
Between 1962 and 1995, both RTZ and CRA discovered important mineral deposits, developed major mining projects and also grew through acquisition.
RTZ and CRA were unified in 1995 through a dual listed companies structure. This means that each Company has an identical board of directors and the shareholders of both Companies are in substantially the same position in terms of votes, dividends and capital returns as if they held shares in a single enterprise owning all the assets of both Companies. (Britain and Australia)
In 1997, the RTZ Corporation became Rio Tinto plc and CRA Limited became Rio Tinto Limited, together known as the Rio Tinto Group. Over the past decade, the Group has continued to invest in developments and acquisitions in keeping with its strategy.
In 2007, Rio Tinto completed an agreed takeover of the Canadian aluminium producer Alcan Inc. in a US$38 billion transaction that transformed the Group’s aluminium product group into a global leader in aluminium. With copper and iron ore, this gave the Group a major role in the production of the three key metals associated with the growth and urbanisation of China and other developing countries.