Fri, Jan 17, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Rio Tinto production and shipment up 5% for 2013

AFP, SYDNEY

Mining giant Rio Tinto yesterday unveiled fresh production and shipment records for its flagship iron ore business, with both up 5 percent on-year last year.

Anglo-Australian Rio said iron ore shipments were up 6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of last year and production was 3 percent higher, boosting annual readings for both by 5 percent compared with 2012.

Iron ore output for last year was 266 million tonnes, 1 million tonnes ahead of guidance despite a cyclone forcing operations to shut down for several days last month.

“These are excellent fourth quarter operational results, demonstrating continued delivery on our commitments,” Rio boss Sam Walsh said.

“We have set new records for iron ore production and shipments as we ramp up our 290 [million tonnes per annum] expansion, as well as achieving an impressive recovery in copper volumes and record annual production for both bauxite and thermal coal,” he said.

Production was up across the board for Rio, with steelmaking coal ahead 2 percent at 8.2 million tonnes and thermal coal burned to produce electricity 12 percent better at 26.8 million tonnes.

Bauxite was up 10 percent (43.2 million tonnes) and aluminum 3 percent (3.5 million tonnes), with a significant 15 percent boost to copper, where production (631,500 tonnes) beat guidance (590,000 tonnes).

Rio posted a 72 percent slump in first-half profit to US$1.72 billion in August, off the back of a loss in 2012 — Rio’s first in 18 years — that cost then-chief Tom Albanese his job.

Walsh was brought in with orders to bring the company back into the black, despite softening commodity prices as China’s economy slows and greater supply comes online.

Walsh was brought in with orders to bring the company back into the black, despite softening commodity prices as China’s economy slows and greater supply comes online.

He has reduced Rio’s workforce by 3,800 since June 2012, with 3,000 more jobs divested out of the company in asset sell-offs.

This story has been viewed 1622 times.
TOP top