Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese said he was respectfully awaiting the outcome of China's trial of four of the company's employees, which began on Monday.

This issue is obviously of great concern to us, as it would be for any company operating in China. I can only say we respectfully await the outcome of the Chinese legal process, he said on Monday in remarks prepared for the China Development Forum in Beijing, and emailed to Reuters by the company.

Albanese also said he was working hard to resolve challenges with China and was extremely positive about cooperation with China's top nonferrous metals firm Chinalco, according to a translated webcast of his speech, which did not mention the trial.