Rio Tinto releases solid fourth quarter production results

19 January 2016

Rio Tinto releases solid fourth quarter production results

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Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said “Against a challenging market backdrop for the industry, Rio Tinto remains focused on operating and commercial excellence to leverage the low-cost position of our Tier 1 asset base. In 2015, we delivered efficient production, meeting our targets across all of our major products, while rigorously controlling our cost base. We will continue to focus on disciplined management of costs and capital to maximise cash flow generation throughout 2016.”

Q4 2015

vs Q4 2014

vs Q3 2015

2015

2014

Global iron ore shipments (100% basis)

Mt

91.3

+11%

0%

336.6

+11%

Global iron ore production (100% basis)

Mt

87.2

+10%

+1%

327.6

+11%

Bauxite

kt

11,211

+4%

-1%

43,677

+4%

Aluminium

kt

864

+4%

+4%

3,322

+1%

Mined copper

kt

111.1

-13%

-3%

504.4

-16%

Hard coking coal

kt

1,900

+16%

+2%

7,859

+11%

Semi-soft and thermal coal

kt

5,979

+9%

+8%

22,285

0%

Titanium dioxide slag

kt

223

-30%

-8%

1,089

-25%

Highlights

  • Global iron ore shipments were in line with 2015 full year guidance of around 340 million tonnes (100 per cent basis). The strong second half performance was achieved following completion of the brownfield developments and expanded infrastructure in the Pilbara, enabling a drawdown of inventories, as well as improvements at Iron Ore Company of Canada.
  • Global iron ore production in 2016 is expected to be around 350 million tonnes (100 per cent basis).
  • Continued strong performance in bauxite exceeded full year guidance of 43 million tonnes, with record third party shipments of 26.6 million tonnes.
  • Aluminium production was in line with 2014, with record annual production at nine smelters offsetting lower production from Kitimat as the modernised and expanded smelter was commissioned.
  • Mined copper production was in line with full year guidance of 510 thousand tonnes as de-weighting and de-watering activities at Kennecott resulted in lower production in 2015, which was partly offset by a 36 per cent increase in production at Oyu Tolgoi from higher grades and throughput. Production is expected to increase in 2016, with higher production at Kennecott and an expected share of joint venture production at Grasberg.
  • Rio Tinto’s share of hard coking and thermal coal production was in line with 2015 guidance, while semi-soft coking coal production was seven per cent above the top end of the guidance range due to mine sequencing.
  • Diamonds & Minerals continues to optimise production to align with market demand, reflected in a 25 per cent reduction in titanium dioxide slag production compared to 2014, in line with guidance.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto’s share of production, unless otherwise stated. To allow production numbers to be compared on a like-for-like basis, production from asset divestments completed in 2014 have been excluded from Rio Tinto share of production data but assets sold in 2015 remain in comparisons.