Finance Finance News Rio Tinto books strong fourth quarter production

Rio Tinto books strong fourth quarter production

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Mining company Rio Tinto has had a record year for iron ore, bauxite and thermal coal production.

The company mined 66.5 million tonnes of iron ore in the December quarter; up three per cent from the previous quarter and five per cent on 2012.

That put annual iron ore production 208.97 million tonnes from the company’s mines in the Western Australia Pilbara region.

Chairman Sam Walsh says Rio improved its performance through a renewed focus on costs and productivity and the $2.5 billion sale of non-core assets.

“These are excellent fourth-quarter operational results, demonstrating continued delivery on our commitment (to reduce costs).

“We have set new records for iron ore production and shipments as we ramp up to 290 million tonnes per year from WA.”

The company shipped a record 68.8 million tonnes of iron ore in the same quarter, despite the effects of tropical cyclone Christine.

It also posted record production of its global bauxite operations in Australia and Guinea of 43.2 million tonnes, up 10 per cent.

Thermal coal production was also up 12 per cent on productivity improvements and the completion of brown fields development.