Rio Tinto reports record first half iron ore production and shipments

Mining group Rio Tinto has reported a record first half iron ore production, shipments and rail volumes despite a number of setbacks.

The company’s global iron ore shipments increased by four per cent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2012, while production was up six per cent. This came in spite of one of its five ship loaders going out of action for nearly three weeks due to a conveyer belt breakage and unexpected flooding in the Pilbara in Western Australia.

In the second quarter, iron ore shipments were up one per cent year-on-year, while production was up seven per cent.

Meanwhile, mined copper increased by 17 per cent while hard coking coal fell by four per cent.

Chief executive Sam Walsh said:

A new milestone was reached in Mongolia, with the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine making its first shipment of copper concentrate to China. 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.