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Rio Tinto Q1 Iron Ore Shipments Up 5%; Cuts 2020 Capex

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) reported that pilbara iron ore shipments for the first-quarter 2020 was 72.9 million tonnes (100% basis), up 5% from the first quarter of 2019, driven by a strong recovery across the network in March following tropical cyclone Damien in February 2020.

The portside trading trial continues in China with the 1 millionth tonne of ore sold.

Pilbara iron ore production was 77.8 million tonnes(100% basis), up 2% from the prior year.

Bauxite production of 13.8 million tonnes was 8% higher than the first quarter of 2019, following the successful ramp-up of Amrun in 2019. Third party shipments of 9.5 million tonnes in the quarter were 7% higher than the same period of 2019.

Aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes in the first quarter was 2% lower than the first quarter of 2019.

Mined copper production of 133 thousand tonnes was 8% lower than the same period in 2019, reflecting anticipated lower copper grades, partially offset by higher throughput.

The company now expects capital expenditure to be $5 billion to 6 billion in 2020 down from the previous guidance of $7 billion, partly due to Covid-19 constraints, and partly due to the favourable currency impact from the strong US dollar.

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