Plus   Neg

Rio Tinto Releases 2017 Annual Report, Changes To Argyle Diamonds Ore Reserves

Rio Tinto (RTPPF.PK,RIO.L,RIO,RTNTF.PK) has released the 2017 Annual report, 2017 Strategic report and its 2018 Notice of annual general meeting to the ASX. The company will hold its 2018 annual general meeting in London on 11 April 2018 and Rio Tinto Limited will hold its 2018 annual general meeting in Melbourne on 2 May 2018.

Rio Tinto's 2017 annual report includes significant changes in estimates of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources at Rio Tinto's Argyle Diamond mine in the East Kimberley, Western Australia.

Ore Reserves and Minerals Resources are quoted on a 100 per cent basis. Rio Tinto's interest is 100 per cent.

During 2017, estimated Argyle Ore Reserves decreased by 13Mt from 29Mt to 16Mt. This decrease includes depletion of almost 5Mt due to production activities in 2017. The balance of the reduction results from a more conservative view on future production performance, grade and economic shut-off criteria.

The remaining reserves underpin the operation until 2020, with opportunities to increase reserve estimates and extend the operational life subject to technical and financial performance.

Following further reviews of resource development potential, and with the reduction in the Argyle Ore Reserve and the limited remaining mine life, the other mineralised deposits at Argyle do not demonstrate economic prospects and are not scheduled for production. As such, Argyle Mineral Resources, exclusive of Ore Reserves, decreased from 15Mt to 0Mt.

Rio Tinto's 2017 annual report, also includes a write back of Ore Reserves to Mineral Resources at the Simandou iron ore project, in Guinea.

Rio Tinto's interest in the Simandou iron ore project is 45.05 per cent, with Chinalco (39.95 per cent) and the Republic of Guinea (15 per cent). On 28 October 2016, Rio Tinto and Chinalco signed a non-binding agreement to sell Rio Tinto's entire stake in the Simandou project, in Guinea, to Chinalco.

The Heads of Agreement (HOA) set out the proposed principal terms of the sale with the aim of signing a binding agreement. Considering current uncertainties in timing of development and potential variations to project scope under future project ownership, the project Ore Reserves have been written back to Mineral Resources. Accordingly, estimates of Mineral Resources at Simandou have been increased, compared to the previous estimate in the 2016 annual report. The Simandou Mineral Resources have increased by 1922 Mt, from 835 Mt to 2757 Mt.

Rio Tinto's 2017 annual report also, includes significant changes in estimates of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources for four Pilbara iron ore deposits in Western Australia, compared to the previous estimates in the 2016 annual report.

During 2017, estimated iron Ore Reserves increased by 165 Mt after depletion from mining. The increases have been delivered as part of the ongoing resource development drilling programs, with associated technical, social and economic studies, designed to maintain Ore Reserves coverage ahead of mining depletion rates. During the same period, estimated Mineral Resources increased by 508 Mt.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT