Summary: Rio Tinto, the world’s largest iron ore producer, reported a rise in quarterly output for copper and aluminium while lowering its annual estimate for Canadian iron ore production. The company expects a decrease in output from its Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) business due to extended plant downtime and conveyor belt failures. Despite the setback, Rio Tinto’s shares rose 3%, driven by a 1.2% increase in third-quarter iron ore shipments and improved commodity prices. The company also saw increases in copper and aluminium production, maintaining its full-year expectations for Pilbara shipments.
Rio Tinto, the mining giant, experienced both positive and negative developments in its operations. While reporting a rise in quarterly output for its copper and aluminium portfolios, the company had to revise its annual estimate for iron ore production in Canada due to operational setbacks.
The Anglo-Australian miner, the world’s largest iron ore producer, now expects a lower iron ore output from its Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) business. The revised estimate is between 9.3 million and 9.8 million tons, down from the previously projected range of 10.0 million to 11.0 million tons. Rio Tinto attributed the decrease in output to extended plant downtime and conveyor belt failures, as well as the recovery efforts following wildfires in Northern Quebec.
Despite this setback, Rio Tinto reported a 1.2% increase in its third-quarter iron ore shipments, supported by ramped-up production at the Gudai-Darri mine. The company shipped 83.9 million tons of iron ore from Pilbara in the September quarter, compared to 82.9 million tons the previous year. This positive performance was further boosted by improved commodity prices, particularly in the Chinese market, which is the largest consumer of iron ore.
Rio Tinto also saw positive growth in its copper and aluminium production. The company recorded a 5% increase in mined copper output to 169,000 tons. This was attributed to the ramp-up of high-grade underground Oyu Tolgoi mine and higher feed grades at Escondida. Additionally, Rio Tinto reported a 9% increase in quarterly aluminium output, reaching 828,000 metric tons.
Despite the operational setbacks in its iron ore production, Rio Tinto maintained its full-year expectations for Pilbara shipments, with estimates falling within the range of 320 million to 335 million tonnes. The positive performance in copper and aluminium production, along with the maintained expectations for iron ore shipments, boosted investor confidence and led to a 3% rise in the company’s shares.
As of 2355 GMT, Rio Tinto’s shares rose as much as 3.3% to A$119.5, outperforming the mining index, which increased by 1.3%.
Tags: Rio Tinto, iron ore production, operational setbacks, copper production, aluminium production