Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh: We continue to deliver efficient production, rigorous cost control and sound allocation of capital

LONDON, 21-10-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said “We continue to deliver efficient production, rigorous cost control and sound allocation of capital. 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.”

Q3 2015 vs Q3 2014 vs Q2 2015 9 mths
2015
vs 9 mths 2014
Global iron ore
shipments(100% basis)
Mt 91.3 +17% +12% 245.3 +11%
Global iron ore production(100% basis) Mt 86.1 +12% +8% 240.4 +11%
Bauxite kt 11,287 +4% +6% 32,466 +4%
Aluminium kt 830 +1% +1% 2,457 0%
Mined copper kt 115 -24% -14% 393 -17%
Hard coking coal kt 1,856 +5% -12% 5,959 +10%
Semi-soft and thermal coal kt 5,546 -8% +9% 16,306 -3%
Titanium dioxide slag kt 243 -34% -19% 866 -23%

Highlights

  • The key elements of the Pilbara infrastructure expansion are now complete, with the ramp-up of iron ore mined capacity continuing to generate maximum value from the integrated system.
  • Global iron ore production increased compared to last year through productivity gains and the ramp-up of operations, with shipments on track to meet full year guidance.
    • Third quarter production of iron ore was 12 per cent higher than the same quarter of 2014 and was eight per cent above the second quarter of 2015.
  • Sustained strong performance in bauxite with third party shipments reaching close to 20 million tonnes to date this year following record production at Weipa.
  • Mined copper on schedule to meet full year guidance, with Oyu Tolgoi benefiting from higher grades and Kennecott continuing its focus on the east wall de-weighting and de-watering.
  • The group further refined its portfolio with the agreed sale on 30 September 2015 of its interest in the Bengalla thermal coal Joint Venture for $606 million.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto’s share of production, unless otherwise stated. To allow production numbers to be compared on a like-for-like basis, production from asset divestments completed in 2014 have been excluded from Rio Tinto share of production data but assets sold in 2015 remain in comparisons.

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