Rio Tinto on track for output targets

Rio Tinto on track for output targets

SYDNEY - Agence France-Presse
Rio Tinto on track for output targets

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s business is strong despite global volatility.

Global mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday its business was performing strongly despite global volatility, affirming annual targets and reporting a quarterly record in Australian iron ore output.

Rio said it had achieved a “strong set of results in the third quarter” to the end of September despite falling commodity prices due to slowing in its crucial China market.

“Markets remain volatile, but our business is resilient and our operations are performing strongly,” Rio Tinto chief Tom Albanese said.

“We have delivered another strong set of production results in the third quarter.” Rio kept its previous full-year guidance of 250 million tons for iron ore, 8.5 million tons for steelmaking coal and 19.5 million tons for thermal coal, which is burned to produce electricity.

The firm reported global iron ore production of 67 million tons in the three months to September, up five percent on the same period last year, including a record 63 million tons at its flagship Australian operations.

Rio is preparing a major expansion at its Western Australian Pilbara project from 230 million tons a year 283 million by the end of 2013 and it said it had produced more iron ore than it sold, to build up a backlog that will see it through the extension works.

Hard coking coal, used in steel furnaces, was 2.3 million tons in the quarter, 16 percent lower than the previous period, due to maintenance and scheduled shutdowns for expansion.