Rio Tinto reported a 47 percent slump in first-half profit on Wednesday as its chief executive told CNBC that the company would not rush into any merger and acquisition (M&A) activity while valuations were subdued.
"The entire strategy of Rio is based on 'build' and 'smart buy' and the word 'smart' is absolutely essential, you can put it in capital letters if I'm honest," new Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques told CNBC on Wednesday.
"It's about the quality of the assets and about the valuations ... If those (elements) are not there, we will not do it," he said.
"We will look at M&A but we are very focused in that space, it's all about the quality of the asset and the valuation - are we going to rush into the M&A space? The answer is 'no'."
His comments come as the global miner reported a 47 percent slump in first-half profit to its weakest in 12 years on Wednesday, and surprised the market with a higher than expected dividend of 45 cents per share. London-listed shares were flat in morning trade after the announcement.
Jacques told CNBC that despite the "very challenging and volatile market environment, it was a very strong set of results from our perspective."
In the global miner's earnings report, Jacques said he was focused on shoring up the company by cutting costs to withstand "uncertain and volatile markets" through the rest of this year.
"We are confident but absolutely not complacent," Jacques said on a conference call with media. "We expect the overall market to remain challenging and volatile."