Rio Tinto hits iron ore production targets

Global iron ore output hit 253m tonnes over 2012 for miner Rio Tinto, beating guidance as demand from China drove a price recovery.

Rio had set a target of 250m tonnes for 2012, after posting output of 245m tonnes over the previous year.

Chief executive Tom Albanese said this morning: “Markets remain volatile, but our business continues to perform well.”

Rio Tinto achieved record global iron ore shipments of 247m tonnes last year, while total mined copper production was six per cent higher than in 2011 thanks to a rebound in ore grades at two of the FTSE 100 firm’s mines.

However, It has spelled out plans to reduce costs by $5bn (£3.bn) by the end of 2014 and also cut exploration spending by $1bn.

Albanese added: “Across the group we are taking action to roll back unsustainable cost increases. This further enhances our resilience and competitive edge as we enter 2013.”