Partnering with two Asian powerhouses
Today, China is Rio Tinto's largest customer, accounting for more than 40 per cent of our global revenues. Since our trading with China began, more than a century ago, we have supplied metals and materials that China’s growth is built on. The very first Rio Tinto iron ore shipment was delivered to China in 1973, and since then, we have supplied more than 2 billion tonnes of iron ore to China.
We are one of Japan's largest suppliers of raw materials, spanning the breadth of our metals and minerals portfolio. Our more than 50-year relationship with Japan – and its demand for our iron ore – has also played a pivotal role in helping us to develop strong and prosperous operations in the Pilbara.
But China and Japan are more than important customers. Chinese and Japanese suppliers make vital contributions across our global value chain through their machinery, equipment, products and services. And we partner with Chinese and Japanese companies in mining and smelting operations and exploration projects around the world.