Rio pro­duc­tion holds up

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

Bad weather which caused flood­ing and port clo­sures across Rio Tinto’s Pil­bara net­work has caused only min­i­mal dis­rup­tion to pro­duc­tion and ship­ping.

Fig­ures re­leased in the min­ing gi­ant’s quar­terly report last week showed it pro­duced 77.2 mil­lion tonnes of iron ore in the March quar­ter, down 10 per cent on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter and 3 per cent on the pre­vi­ously cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter.

Iron ore ship­ments of 76.7 mil­lion tonnes were down 13 per cent on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter and in line with the pre­vi­ous cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter.

Rio noted both pro­duc­tion and sales had been af­fected by sig­nif­i­cant weather dis­rup­tions.

Heavy rain­fall had caused flood­ing across sev­eral sites in­clud­ing the rail net­work, along with the sus­pen­sion of ship load­ing sev­eral oc­ca­sions.

How­ever, it said all op­er­a­tions across the mine and in­fra­struc­ture net­work had re­cov­ered and were op­er­at­ing to plan.

De­spite the weather dis­rup­tions, Rio Tinto re­it­er­ated its full-year 2017 ship­ping guid­ance of 330-340 mil­lion tonnes.

Rio Tinto chief ex­ec­u­tive Jean-Se­bastien Jac­ques said de­spite chal­leng­ing weather con­di­tions at the com­pany’s WA and Queens­land op­er­a­tions, it had de­liv­ered solid pro­duc­tion in the first quar­ter of 2017.

“Our strat­egy is un­changed. Our num­ber one pri­or­ity is safety,” he said.

“We main­tain our dis­ci­plined ap­proach to cap­i­tal man­age­ment and max­imis­ing cash­flow, with a fo­cus on man­ag­ing costs and enhancing pro­duc­tiv­ity across the busi­ness.

“These ac­tions sup­port the de­liv­ery of strong cash re­turns to share­hold­ers in the short, medium and long term.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Rio Tinto pro­duced 77.2 mil­lion tonnes of iron ore in the March quar­ter, down 10 per cent on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

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