Rio Tinto lifts Pilbara shipment guidance for 2020

Image: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has increased its 2020 calendar year iron ore shipment guidance after a 10 per cent jump in the September quarter on the previous period to 87.3 million tonnes

The company is targeting a 5 per cent increase on its 2019 guidance, which remains unchanged at 320–330 million tonnes, in 2020.

This move reflects Rio Tinto’s recovery from the impact of tropical cyclones earlier this year, when the events caused a damage to its port in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

Rio Tinto expects its Koodaideri phase one project in the Pilbara to deliver first ore in late 2021.

Its Pilbara system has operated at 360 million tonnes a year but not on an annual basis. Rio Tinto believes it will reach this annualised capacity once the Koodaideri phase one project is fully commissioned.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara Blend remains the flagship product from its Pilbara system, thanks to the SP10 iron ore fines supporting the “high consistency” of the Pilbara blend.

SP10 has also increased resource recovery and improved mine productivity, according to Rio Tinto.

“We are not complacent, and will step up our operational performance to fully optimise our assets and maintain strong cash delivery,” Rio Tinto chief executive JS Jacques, speaking at the company’s investor seminar in London, said.

“We will continue to create value by strengthening relationships with our customers and with other partners, both of which are crucial for our future success.”

Rio Tinto has achieved its current emissions target, which is expiring at the end of 2019. The company will disclose new targets early next year in line with its target of substantially decarbonising its business by 2050.

The company has reduced its emissions-intensity footprint by almost 30 per cent since 2008, with over 70 per cent of its electricity today coming from renewable sources.

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