Rio Tinto eyeing Australia aluminum business spin-off: paper

(Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto <RIO.AX> <RIO.L> is considering spinning off part of its Australian aluminum assets as a planned carbon would raise costs, the Australian Financial Review said on Monday.

Rio has been working with Macquarie Group <MQG.AX> and PricewaterhouseCoopers to consider its options for the business, the paper said.

Rio's aluminum business in Australia is made up of three refineries, three smelters and two bauxite mines, the paper said, adding Rio would hold onto the mines as they offer the highest margins.

Rio last week told investors it plans to achieve 40 percent earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization margin from the aluminum business through the sale of two non-specified assets, the paper said.

Rio Tinto officials could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)