Rio Tinto Releases First Quarter 2016 Production Results
Rio Tinto has released its production results for bauxite, alumina, aluminum and other materials.
Rio Tinto recently released its production results for the first quarter of 2016. Bauxite production of 11.1 million tons during the first quarter of 2016 was a 6% increase compared to the first quarter of 2015, and was in line with the previous quarter. Strong performance in ramping up the Gove mine increased production by 30% to 2.2 million tons; record production at Sangaredi (CBG) (at 1.9 million tons) was 16% higher compared with the first quarter of 2015. Third-party shipments of 6.8 million tons were 6% higher than the first quarter of 2015.
Alumina production in the first quarter of 2016 improved by 7% compared with the first quarter of 2015 and was consistent with the fourth quarter of 2015. This performance was reportedly mainly driven by Yarwun, where first quarter production of 785 thousand tons was 15% higher than the first quarter of 2015, setting a new quarterly record. It also reflected the ongoing focus on productivity improvements across all refineries, which continues to be the strategy for the division.
Aluminum production of 887 thousand tons represents a 10% increase compared with the first quarter of 2015. Kitimat completed its ramp-up to an annualized rate of 420 thousand tons in March 2016. Production across the Saguenay smelter system increased by 4% compared with the first quarter of 2015 as a result of ongoing productivity improvements. 2016 guidance Rio Tinto’s expected share of production of bauxite, alumina, and aluminum remains unchanged at 45 million tons, 7.8 million tons, and 3.6 million tons, respectively.
Borates production in the first quarter was 19% greater than the previous quarter due to alignment of production to stronger demand in the U.S. and China. Chinese demand was driven by improvements in residential construction and in overall business sentiment.
Titanium dioxide slag production was 24% lower than the first quarter of 2015 but 10% higher than the fourth quarter of 2015 as RTIT continues to optimize production in line with demand. Two of nine furnaces at Rio Tinto Fer et Titane and one of four furnaces at Richards Bay Minerals are currently idled, reflecting lower demand for high-grade feedstocks.
Rio Tinto’s expected share of titanium dioxide slag, boric oxide equivalent production, uranium and diamond production in 2016 is unchanged at 1 million tons, 0.5 million tons, 5-6 million lbs, and 21 million carats, respectively.
“These results demonstrate our commitment to operational excellence in 2016, with notable improvements in several important areas, including a strong performance in Aluminum,” said Sam Walsh, CEO. “However, we continue to experience volatility in commodity prices across all markets. In the face of a testing external environment, our focus remains on delivering further cost and productivity improvements, disciplined capital management and maximizing free cash flow, to ensure that Rio Tinto remains strong.”
For more information, visit www.riotinto.com.