Tuesday 20 April 2021 8:14 am

Rio Tinto’s output falls on workforce shortages and wet weather

Global miner Rio Tinto reported lower quarterly iron ore output on Tuesday as wet weather and workforce shortages hit operations in Western Australia.

Operations were affected by above average wet weather and plant disruptions, while a tropical cyclone disrupted maintenance and labour availability.

Production for the quarter stood at 76.4 million tonnes, down two per cent from the same period last year.

Rio Tinto today said that first-quarter iron-ore shipments from its Australian mines were seven per cent higher than a year earlier despite weaker output.

The mining giant shipped 77.8 million metric tonnes of iron ore from Australia in the three months leading up to March 2021.

“You’d have to suggest that it is a pretty average result. They have not delivered iron ore into a solid pricing environment,” said David Lennox at Fat Prophets in Sydney.

“There’s nothing that they can do about wet weather – it may be that they are going to have to live with changing environmental conditions.

“What will save them is the fact that they have got higher commodity prices generally, especially iron ore and copper.”