Rio Tinto posted its second quarter production results this week that included Pilbara iron ore shipments of 77.7 million metric tons (mt). Shipments were impacted by accelerated rail track maintenance. Iron ore shipments guidance for 2017 is around 330 million mt, the lower end of the previously announced 330-million-ton to 340-million-mt range.
“This was a solid quarter for production, including record output at our bauxite operations,” said J-S Jacques, CEO, Rio Tinto. “Iron ore production was in line with last year, although iron ore shipments were impacted by an acceleration in our rail maintenance program following poor weather in the first quarter. We believe our focus on capital discipline, maximizing cash flow from operations, driving productivity and portfolio shaping will continue to support the delivery of strong cash generation and shareholder returns.”
Rio Tinto reported record quarterly bauxite production of 12.9 million mt, which was 7% higher than the corresponding quarter of 2016, driven by strong production at Weipa and Gove. Third-party shipments of 8 million mt were achieved in the second quarter.
Mined copper production recovered compared to the previous quarter, however, it was 6% lower than the second quarter of 2016 as Escondida continued to ramp up following a strike during the first quarter.