Rio Tinto announced in late February that it has streamlined its product groups and corporate functions as part of a continued focus on efficiency and costs. Under the new organizational structure, Rio Tinto’s assets have been condensed into four product groups: aluminum, copper and coal, diamonds and minerals, and iron ore, eliminating the company’s previous energy product group.

The new copper and coal group brings Rio Tinto’s coal operations alongside the existing copper portfolio. Copper Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques is leading the combined group. Uranium was added to the diamonds and minerals product group, under the leadership of product group Chief Executive Alan Davies.

Rio Tinto’s aluminum and iron ore product groups remain unchanged.

As a consequence of the restructuring, former energy Chief Executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney has left Rio Tinto.

The Rio Tinto announcement also said that, as part of an ongoing optimization program, a number of the company’s key corporate functions are being reshaped to further reduce costs and improve effectiveness. No details were provided.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh said, “These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company, and deliver sustainable value for shareholders. Our coal and uranium assets remain a part of our world-class portfolio. We will work hard to ensure there is a smooth transition for our colleagues in the energy product group and continue to maximize efficiencies in our coal and uranium operations.”

Analytics Excellence Centre: In other news from Rio Tinto, the company reported in early March that it has launched a “big data” Analytics Excellence Centre in Pune, India, to drive productivity improvements. The facility’s mission is to assess the massive volumes of data captured by the array of sensors attached to Rio Tinto’s fixed and mobile equipment and enable experts to predict and prevent engine breakdowns and other downtime events, significantly boosting productivity and safety.

Rio Tinto Group Executive Technology and Innovation Greg Lilleyman said, “The Analytics Excellence Centre will allow us to extract maximum value from the data we are capturing around the performance of our equipment, making our operations more predictable, more efficient and safer. This is a world-first for the mining industry and is all part of Rio Tinto’s relentless pursuit of productivity gains across our businesses.”

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