Rio lowers iron ore production forecasts

Rio Tinto iron ore

Rio Tinto has forecast annual iron ore shipments at the lower end of its outlook after third-quarter deliveries fell amid weak global demand.

The miner said it now expects annual iron ore shipments to fall between 320-335 million tonnes, with the outlook dependent on ramping up the Gudai-Darri and Robe Valley projects in Western Australia, and the availability of skilled labour.

The world’s biggest iron ore producer shipped 82.9mt of the metal  in the three months ended September 30, compared with 83.4mt a year earlier.

But on a quarter-on-quarter basis, shipments rose 4 per cent, despite two rail outages, including one on the Guidai-Darri line.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said delivering the full potential of the company’s assets remained a priority.

“Production improved versus the prior quarter across most of our sites, particularly where we have implemented the Rio Tinto Safe Production System (RTSPS),” he said.

Stausholm singled out a number of highlights from the quarter.

“We progressed our excel in development objective, commissioning some major projects and advancing the next tranche of Pilbara mines, agreeing to enter a joint venture with Baowu to develop Western Range and modernising the joint venture covering the Rhodes Ridge iron ore project in the East Pilbara, unlocking a pathway to develop this significant, high quality resource,” he said.

“We also approved growth capital for underground mining at Kennecott, early works funding at Rincon Lithium and continue to progress Oyu Tolgoi. Our proposal to take Turquoise Hill Resources private has unanimous support of the Turquoise Hill Board who have recommended shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.

“We continue to deliver our strategy with decarbonisation at its centre. Last week we announced a partnership with the Government of Canada to invest up to $C737 million over eight years to decarbonise our Rio Tinto Fer et Titane operations in Québec, and to position the business as a centre of excellence for critical minerals processing.

“We are taking action to transform our culture and rebuild trust, implementing the recommendations of the Everyday Respect report and publishing our second progress report on our communities and social performance practices, which includes increased feedback from Traditional Owner groups, with responses from seven groups compared to four in 2021.”

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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