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Rio Tinto Q2 Iron Ore Shipments Up 1%

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) reported that its second-quarter pilbara iron ore shipments was 86.7 million tonnes on 100% basis, up 1% from last year, despite the impact of COVID-19 related operational controls.

Pilbara iron ore production was 83.2 million tonnes on 100% basis, up 4% from the prior year.

Bauxite production rose 9% to 14.6 million tonnes, from the previous year.

Aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes in the second quarter was 2% lower than the second quarter of 2019 primarily due to pot relining at Kitimat, the decision to operate the ISAL smelter at 85% capacity and the curtailment of the fourth pot line at New Zealand Aluminium Smelter in April 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts.

Second quarter mined copper was 3% lower than the same period of 2019 due to lower head grade at Kennecott.

Second quarter refined copper was 67% lower than the same period of 2019 due to the impact from the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in the first quarter resulting in an unplanned flash converting furnace rebuild at Kennecott, in addition to the planned 45-day smelter shutdown in May/June.

For 2020, the company now expects capital expenditure to be around $6 billion compared to the prior outlook of $5 billion to $6 billion. It is due to an appreciation in major operating currencies against the US dollar since the first quarter and a reduced impact of COVID-19 on both sustaining and development expenditure.

Capital expenditure for 2021 and 2022 is expected to be around $7 billion per year, compared to the prior outlook of $6.5 billion. It includes spend from 2020 that has been re-phased as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

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