Rio Tinto posts record first half iron ore output

Suzie Neuwirth

RIO TINTO today unveiled record first half iron ore production in its operations review and announced that it is “well on track” to meet capex reduction targets this year.

The mining giant, which has been looking to make savings of over $5bn (£3.3bn) by the end of 2014, expects to meet its $750m targeted reduction in exploration and evaluation spend in 2013, with spending in first half down by $483m over the same period of 2012.

The firm also said that its Mongolian copper mine Oyu Tolgoi had made its first shipment to China, representing the culmination of a three-year, $6.2bn project.

“A new milestone was reached in Mongolia, with the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine making its first shipment of copper concentrate to China,” said chief executive Sam Walsh.

“Our iron ore operations continue their impressive performance, with period on period productivity improvements.

“One of our key priorities this year is to deliver our growth projects. Despite some challenging weather conditions, our Pilbara 290 iron ore expansion remains on track to deliver first tonnes by the end of this quarter.”