Rio Tinto Q1 Pilbara Iron Ore Production Down 6%

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) said that its Pilbara iron ore production for the first-quarter slipped by 6% year-over-year to 71.7 million tonnes, while Pilbara iron ore shipments also declined 8% to 71.5 million tonnes.

The company expects increased iron ore production production volumes and improved product mix in the second half with the commissioning and ramp up of Gudai-Darri, commissioning of the Robe Valley wet plant and improved mine pit health. Full year shipments guidance remains unchanged.

Bauxite production for the first quarter was 13.6 million tonnes, flat with last year.

Aluminium production of 0.7 million tonnes was 8% lower than the first quarter of 2021 due to reduced capacity at our Kitimat smelter in British Columbia following the strike which commenced in July 2021. Preparations continue for the Kitimat smelter to progressively restart from June 2022 with full ramp up expected by the end of the year. All other smelters continued to have stable performance, despite considerable challenges related to unplanned employee absences due to COVID-19, the company said.

Mined copper production of 125 thousand tonnes was 4% higher than the first quarter of 2021 due to higher recoveries and grades at Kennecott, partly offset by lower grades at Oyu Tolgoi and lower throughput at Escondida.

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