Mining Winners: Rio Tinto - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- A lion's share of major mining stocks finished Monday in positive territory.

Rio Tinto

( RTP) added 3% at $209.90 after its subsidiary, Rio Tinto Alcan, said it could invest up to $2.5 billion in a potential aluminum smelter in Paraguay,

Reuters

reported. Rio Tinto has also begun negotiations on a power purchase agreement for the potential smelter, the company said on Monday.

Ivanhoe Mines

( IVN) closed up by 4% at $14. Last week Ivanhoe Mines' CEO said it and Rio Tinto had received the green light to spend $758 million next year to develop their joint copper and gold mining project in Mongolia.

Ivanhoe's CEO said he expects the initial open-pit mine to be completed in 2012 and for commercial production to begin in 2013. The Oyu Tolgoi mine could produce more than 1 billion pounds of copper and 500,000 ounces of gold a year in the first decade of production.

Alpha Natural Resources

(ANR)

rose 3.5% to $40.80. Last week Macquarie Equities Research analyst Curt Woodworth upgraded the coal operator to outperform from neutral on expectations that it is positioned to gain from rising demand in Europe.

Woodworth said as exports to key European steel customers gain momentum, he expects Alpha will shift its mix more heavily toward exports in 2010, where profitability is significantly higher than in the U.S. Steel makers use metallurgical coal in their production process.

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

closed up 1.4% at $14.80. Last Friday Alcoa shot up 7.1% in afternoon trading after JPMorgan analyst Michael Gambardella

predicted a climb in metal, iron ore and coal prices next year

fuelled by improved liquidity and industrial production especially in China. He raised his 2010 profit outlook for a number of metal and mining companies including Alcoa, Century Aluminum and Teck Resources.

Century Aluminum

(CENX) - Get Report

advanced 6.5% to $13.40 and Teck Resources gained 4.6% to $37 at the close of Monday's trading session.

Taseko Mines

(TGB) - Get Report

added 7.7% at $4.20. The British Columbia-based mining company said at the end of last month that it planned on selling a 25% stake in its Gibraltar copper and molybdenum mine to Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp. for about $171 million.

Shares of some top silver companies were up at the close of trading.

Silver Wheaton

(SLW)

rose 3.2% to $15.62 while

Hecla Mining

(HL) - Get Report

rose 2% to $6.64.

Silver Standard

(SSRI)

rose 1% to $22.94.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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