Rio Tinto aims for a third of global trade in iron ore

Mining firm Rio Tinto announced today that it will spend $3.7bn (£2.4bn) on increasing its Australian iron ore output by a further 25 per cent in the next three years.

The decision is a vote of a confidence in China's continued growth and shrugs off fears of global over-supply and waning demand.

Rio Tinto currently runs its mines at an annual rate of 230m tonnes and had already begun work to take output to 283m tonnes.

The latest expansion will hand the company around a third of global iron ore production.

"We are mindful of short-term uncertainties, and remain fully committed to a balanced approach to investment, while maintaining a single A credit rating and a progressive dividend policy," Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said.

Rio Tinto also said it had committed a further $501m to fund its share of infrastructure development at its Simandou iron ore prospect in Guinea, a joint venture with China's Chinalco.