16 July 2013

Second quarter 2013 operations review

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Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said "A new milestone was reached in Mongolia, with the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine making its first shipment of copper concentrate to China. Our iron ore operations continue their impressive performance, with period on period productivity improvements. One of our key priorities this year is to deliver our growth projects. Despite some challenging weather conditions, our Pilbara 290 iron ore expansion remains on track to deliver first tonnes by the end of this quarter."

Highlights

Q2 2013

vs Q2 2012

vs Q1 2013

H1 2013

vs H1 2012

Global iron ore shipments
mt (100% basis)

61.3

+1%

+7%

118.6

+4%

Global iron ore production
mt (100% basis)

66.0

+7%

+8%

127.2

+6%

Mined copper
kt (RT share)

146.2

+10%

-3%

296.4

+17%

Aluminium
kt (RT share)

901

+7%

-1%

1,809

+7%

Hard coking coal
kt (RT share)

1,902

-5%

+15%

3,552

-4%

Semi-soft and thermal coal
kt (RT share)

7,124

+23%

+17%

13,216

+26%

Titanium dioxide feedstock
kt (RT share)

461

+25%

+8%

888

+19%

  • Record first half iron ore production, shipments and rail volumes despite a conveyor belt breakage resulting in one of five ship loaders being side-lined for almost three weeks and unseasonal wet weather which led to flooding in the Pilbara.
  • Expansion of Pilbara capacity to 290 million tonnes per year remains on budget and on time to deliver first tonnes by the end of the third quarter of this year. Delivery of first tonnes will be followed by a steady commissioning and ramp-up period. Completion of the Rail Capacity Expansion infrastructure project was the most recent milestone reached in the quarter.
  • Mined copper benefited from a sustained recovery in grades at Kennecott Utah Copper and Escondida since the first half of 2012.
  • Following the north wall slide at Bingham Canyon, mining of ore from lower sections of the pit recommenced on 27 April and is being supplemented with material from stockpiles. The recovery is advancing faster than previously expected with projected full year mined and refined copper improving by 25,000 tonnes over previous estimates.
  • Oyu Tolgoi made its first shipment of copper concentrate to China on 9 July 2013, representing the culmination of a three-year, $6.2 billion project to build the first phase of one of the world's top five copper mines.
  • Titanium dioxide feedstock volumes were 25 per cent higher than the second quarter of 2012 reflecting the doubling of the Group's interest in Richards Bay Minerals.
  • Rio Tinto is well on track to meet its $750 million targeted reduction in exploration and evaluation spend in 2013, with spending in first half down by $483 million over the same period of 2012.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto's share of production, unless otherwise stated

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

For further information, please contact:

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