Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. deputy chairman Peter Meredith said Friday he expects the company's board to continue to have a majority of independent directors.
The comment came after Rio Tinto , which recently increased its stake in the company to 51 per cent, said it expects to seek a majority on the board and the replacement of some of Ivanhoe's management.
Rio Tinto currently has seven nominees on Ivanhoe's 14-member board, including four independents.
Under a 2010 agreement, at least eight of the 14 directors must be independent, based on Canadian and U.S. securities laws, until the earlier of Jan. 18, 2014 or when Ivanhoe ceases to be a Canadian public company.
Mr. Meredith noted that the commitment to maintain an independent majority on the board is not connected to the number of directors Rio Tinto is entitled to appoint.
"The four incumbent independent directors nominated to the Ivanhoe Mines board by Rio Tinto have done an outstanding job representing the interests of all shareholders of Ivanhoe Mines," Mr. Meredith said in a statement.
"We look forward to maintaining a highly capable and motivated board to ensure that the company is managed in the best interest of all shareholders, even as new independent directors may be added."