Rio Tinto recently released its second quarter 2011 operations review. “Operations largely recovered from the severe weather impacts earlier this year, although some port and rail constraints remained,” said Tom Albanese, chief executive. “This quarter was also characterized by continued strong prices for most of our metals and minerals, but with worsening adverse exchange rates and some input cost pressures. Our growth program was boosted by the successful $4 billion acquisition of Riversdale, giving us further options to develop our tier-one assets.”
Bauxite production was 11% higher than the second quarter of 2010, notably at Weipa, driven by increased third-party demand. Alumina production is gradually recovering from the abnormally heavy rains between December 2010 and April 2011, which primarily impacted Queensland Alumina’s production, affecting bauxite and coal quality, equipment reliability, and freight costs.
The impact of the inclement weather is expected to lower Rio Tinto Alcan’s underlying earnings by approximately $130 million in the first half of 2011 compared with the first half of 2010, due to lost alumina tonnage and higher costs in mining, refining, and power generation, with a smaller impact continuing into the second half of 2011.
For more information, visit www.riotinto.com