Rio Tinto Q2 Pilbara Iron Ore Shipments Down 12%

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) reported that its Pilbara iron ore shipments for the second-quarter of 2021 was 76.3 million tonnes on 100% basis, 12% lower than the prior year with some additional drawdown of inventories.

Ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and a tight labour market have further impacted its ability to access experienced contractors and particular skill sets, the company said in a statement.

Pilbara iron ore production was 75.9 million tonnes on 100% basis, 9% lower than the second quarter of 2020 due to above average rainfall in the West Pilbara, shutdowns to enable replacement mines to be tied in, processing plant availability, and cultural heritage management.

Bauxite production was 13.7 million tonnes down 6% from the previous year due to ongoing system instability following severe wet weather in Eastern Australia in the first quarter.

Aluminium production was 0.8 million tonnes, 4% higher than the second quarter of 2020, underpinned by the ISAL smelter in Iceland and the Becancour smelter in Quebec operating at full capacity, and the Kitimat smelter in British Columbia nearing completion of its pot relining cycle.

Mined copper production was 115.5 thousand tonnes , down 13% from the prior year, with lower recoveries and throughput at Escondida as a result of the prolonged impact of COVID-19, and a planned relocation of the in-pit crusher at Kennecott in April.

The company expects iron ore shipments to be at the low end of the guidance range which remains subject to COVID-19 disruptions, tie-in and ramp up of brownfield replacement mines and management of cultural heritage.

Mined copper and bauxite production is expected to be at the low end of the guidance range.

Full year titanium dioxide slag production guidance has been removed as a result of risks around the timing of resumption of operations at RBM in South Africa, due to an escalation in the security situation.

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