Rio Tinto has reported its second quarter operations review. “2010 continues to shape up well for Rio Tinto and we are driving our operations at close to capacity,” said Tom Albanese, chief executive. “Markets for most of our products are strong and the overall long-term demand outlook is positive. But, in recent weeks, fears about a possible double-dip recession in OECD countries and a slight slowdown in Chinese growth have led to some weakening in sentiment. We believe this pattern of volatility in the global economy is set to continue.
“Growth is firmly back on our agenda. We have a large range of options for expansion and investment competing for capital. Now that much of the uncertainty over the Australian resource tax has been removed, we are starting to move ahead with projects there with the announcement of $200 million of funding to prepare for the expansion of our Pilbara operations to 330 million tons a year.”
Other highlights include:
- Rio Tinto’s global iron ore production was 2% lower than the second quarter of 2009. First half production was 15% higher than the first half of 2009, when markets were recovering from the global financial crisis.
- The Pilbara system continued to operate at close to its nameplate capacity during the quarter, with production for the past year exceeding 219 million tons (100% basis).
- Molybdenum production was 14% higher than the second quarter of 2009, attributable to higher grades at Kennecott Utah Copper.
- Bauxite production increased 10% in the second quarter of 2010?; production levels were sustained for alumina and aluminum, in line with improving market demand.
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