(REUTERS) -- Miner Rio Tinto, which owns a 49 percent stake in Ivanhoe Mines, welcomed a decision by the owner of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper mine to scrap a poison pill provision, and said it was now free to raise its holding.

We welcome Ivanhoe's decision to suspend immediately the Shareholder Rights Plan, in line with the arbitrator's recommendation in December, a Rio spokesman said.

As the 49 percent cap on Rio Tinto's ownership of Ivanhoe expires today, we are free to increase our shareholding as we see fit.

Ivanhoe said earlier on Wednesday it would recommend that shareholders scrap the Shareholder Rights Plan.