Rio Tinto Maintains Strong Bauxite and Alumina Production in 2015 Third Quarter
Rio Tinto recently released its third quarter 2015 production results. Strong performance in bauxite was reportedly sustained into the third quarter, driven by record quarterly and nine-month production at Weipa, which gave rise to a nine-month record for the company. Weipa benefited from increased plant throughput, while Gove continued to ramp up its export capability, running at just under an eight million ton run-rate in the third quarter of 2015. Third quarter and year-to-date bauxite production was 4% higher than the corresponding periods of 2014, and enabled the group to ship close to 20 million tons to third parties in the first nine months of 2015, a 19% improvement on the same period of 2014.
Alumina production for the first nine months of 2015 was up by 5% compared with the same period of 2014, reflecting improved productivity at Queensland Alumina and Yarwun.
“We continue to deliver efficient production, rigorous cost control and sound allocation of capital,” said Sam Walsh, CEO. “This approach is ensuring that our tier-one assets generate substantial free cash flow even during a challenging economic environment. Our expanded Pilbara infrastructure is in place, and the Iron Ore Product Group is successfully commissioning and testing the system, reflected in the increased iron ore shipments to our customers during the period. Our cash generated from operations will enable us to deliver strong returns to shareholders through the cycle, and our balance sheet will be further strengthened by recent divestment activity.”
Rio Tinto’s expected share of production of bauxite and aluminum are unchanged at 43 million tons and 3.3 million tons, respectively. The expected share of alumina production has been revised to 7.8 million tons (previously 8.0 million tons).
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