Reclaimer and Milky Way


We continue to progress important growth opportunities and projects, to bring to market materials critical to the transition to a low-carbon economy – aluminium, copper, iron ore, lithium, and many others.

We have a strong portfolio of assets across 6 continents. Many of our products are essential for the energy transition, and our focus is on growing our business while decarbonising, providing products to our customers that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. And looking to the future, the demand will only grow – driven by ongoing urbanisation and the energy transition. The demand we will face through to 2035 will grow around 3.9% per year, with around half stemming from the energy transition.

Our strategy also focuses on growing in materials required to support the energy transition, such as copper, lithium, aluminium and high-quality iron ore. This will ensure our portfolio remains relevant and is well-placed to meet the commodity needs of future generations.”

- Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive

Excel in development

Our portfolio is well-placed to meet the commodity needs of future generations, but we also need to build a pipeline of organic and inorganic growth opportunities and establish a strong track record of capital-efficient delivery.

We are broadening our approach to developing our pipeline of growth options and are testing innovative ways of bringing projects online faster. Through it all, we will maintain our absolute commitment to capital discipline and only pursue opportunities that create value.

We are also focused on further building our capabilities in business development and project execution. We continue to successfully roll out the Safe Production System (SPS) – we have deployed SPS at 56% of our sites to date, with implementation at various stages of maturity. Through SPS, we are drawing on data more efficiently to understand asset health, maintenance scheduling and bottleneck solutions. We have started to see improved production efficiency, safety and engagement at the sites where we have deployed it – including a 5 million tonne uplift in iron ore production and a 25% improvement in our accident injury frequency rate globally in the second half of 2023 (when compared to the first half) at sites where SPS has been deployed.


ELYSIS, our joint venture with Alcoa, supported by Apple, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, is developing a breakthrough inert anode technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases from the aluminium smelting process.

In 2023, we acquired a 50% equity stake in Matalco from Giampaolo Group for $738 million. The Matalco joint venture combines the strengths of North America's largest primary and secondary aluminium producers to meet growing demand for low-carbon products.

We’re also investing $1.1 billion to expand our AP60 aluminium smelter in Quebec, Canada. The investment will add 96 new AP60 pots, increasing capacity by approximately 160,000 metric tonnes of primary aluminium per year, enough for 400,000 electric cars.


In March 2023 we marked the start of production from the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) underground mine in Mongolia, which will make OT one of the most important producers of copper in the world. At full production, OT’s underground and open cut mines will produce enough copper annually for more than 6 million electric vehicles.

We’re investing in our Kennecott operation in Utah, the US, to strengthen its supply of copper by increasing production from underground mining and improving the health of key assets. We approved $498 million for development of the North Rim Skarn1 (NRS) underground copper mine. Production from the NRS will begin in 2025 and is expected to ramp up over 2 years, to deliver around 250 thousand tonnes of additional mined copper over the next 10 years2 alongside open cut operations. In September 2022, we approved development capital totalling $55 million to start underground mining in an area known as the Lower Commercial Skarn (LCS). Underground production within LCS started in February 2023, and is expected to deliver a total of around 30 thousand tonnes of additional mined copper through the period to 20273.

The Resolution Copper project – a proposed underground copper mine in the Copper Triangle in Arizona, United States – has the potential to supply up to 25% of US copper demand. The US Forest Service is working to progress the Final Environmental Impact Statement and land exchange. We are continuing to advance discussions with several federally recognised Native American Tribes who are part of the formal consultation process.

Winu – a copper and gold project – is part of our high-quality pipeline of exploration projects globally. The Winu deposit is shallow and suitable for open pit mining, located in a great jurisdiction, in flat topography, and 100% owned. We announced the maiden Resource for Winu in July 2020 and believe it has the potential to become a large-scale operation over time.

Concentrator, Oyu Tolgoi

Oyu Tolgoi

One of the world’s largest known copper and gold deposits

Global demand for copper is set to grow, driven by urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing requirements for renewable energy: copper plays a key role in electrification and power production.


For example, a wind turbine capable of generating a megawatt of power – enough to supply several hundred homes – needs more than 3 tonnes of copper.

Oyu Tolgoi, in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, is one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world and it is expected to be the world’s fourth largest copper mine by 2030.

At peak production, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to operate in the first quartile of the copper cash cost curve4. Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce around 500,000 tonnes of copper per year on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground, and an average of around 350,000 tonnes per year for a further 5 years5, compared to 130,000 tonnes in 2022 (open pit)6.

The OT underground development will consolidate Rio Tinto’s position as a leading global supplier of copper at a time when demand is increasing, driven by its role in enabling decarbonisation and electrification in the race to net zero. We will also explore additional opportunities to decarbonise the OT operations, including sourcing renewable power.”

Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive

Iron ore

In September 2022, we agreed to form a joint venture with China Baowu Steel Group to develop the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia (Rio Tinto 54%, Baowu 46%). Construction began in 2023, with first production anticipated in 2025. Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 million tonnes of iron ore will help sustain production of the Pilbara Blend™ from our existing Paraburdoo mining hub. The joint venture is subject to various conditions, including approvals from Rio Tinto shareholders, the Australian Government, Chinese Government regulatory agencies and the Western Australian Government.

In October 2022, Rio Tinto (50%) and Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd (50%) agreed to modernise the joint venture covering the Rhodes Ridge project in the Eastern Pilbara, providing a pathway for development using Rio Tinto’s rail, port and power infrastructure. In December 2023, we announced approval of a $77 million pre-feasibility study to progress development of Rhodes Ridge, following an order of magnitude study that considered the development of an operation with initial capacity of up to 40 million tonnes annually, subject to relevant approvals. The study should be completed by the end of 2025.

Other key projects to be delivered in the Pilbara over the next 5 years include Hope Downs 1 Sustaining (Hope Downs 2 and Bedded Hilltop), West Angelas Sustaining, Greater Nammuldi Sustaining and Brockman 4 Sustaining (Brockman Syncline 1). We continue to work closely with local communities, Traditional Owners and government to progress approvals for the new mining projects.

In June 2022, we announced the production of first ore at Gudai-Darri, our first greenfield mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia, in more than a decade. With an expected life of more than 40 years and an annual capacity of 43 million tonnes, Gudai-Darri will underpin future production of our Pilbara Blend™ product.

The Simandou iron ore project in Guinea contains one of the world’s largest known undeveloped high-grade low-impurity iron ore deposits, which is in increasing demand as steelmakers look to reduce carbon emissions. Negotiations are progressing between our Simfer joint venture with CIOH (a Chinalco led consortium), Baowu, Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) and the Government of Guinea to co-develop project infrastructure. In 2023, we announced plans to invest $6.2 billion7 (Rio Tinto share) in our Simfer mine and co-developed rail and port scope. Simandou will diversify our strong iron ore portfolio, complementing our high-grade Iron Ore Company of Canada products and supporting the long-term attractiveness of our Pilbara Blend™ offering.

A 34 megawatt, 105 hectare solar photovoltaic plant at our Gudai-Darri mine will deliver approximately one third of Gudai-Darri's average electricity demand.

A 34 megawatt, 105 hectare solar photovoltaic plant at our Gudai-Darri mine will deliver approximately one third of Gudai-Darri's average electricity demand.


The Rincon Lithium Project is a large, undeveloped lithium-brine project located in the Salta province of Argentina, an emerging hub for greenfield projects. The project is a long-life, scaleable resource capable of producing battery-grade lithium carbonate. It has the potential to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry that can help deliver on our decarbonisation commitment. In 2023, we progressed development of a 3,000 tonne per annum lithium carbonate starter plant at the Rincon Lithium Project, with production expected by the end of 2024.

The Jadar project in Serbia is one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in the world. The Board committed funding in July 2021, subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences. We are focused on consultation with all stakeholders to explore all options following the Government of Serbia's cancellation of the Spatial Plan in January 2022.


We’ve invested in the Burra project in New South Wales, Australia, one of the world's highest-grade primary scandium oxide resources. It can potentially be the first primary scandium production site outside of Asia. This scalable resource is our second scandium project. We produced the first batch of high-purity scandium oxide at our commercial-scale demonstration plant at Sorel-Tracy in Canada, making us the first North American producer of this critical mineral.

  • Footnotes

    1 The NRS Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, together with the Lower Commercial Skarn (LCS) Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, form the Underground Skarns Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.

    2 This production target for 2023 to 2033 is underpinned as to 25% by Probable Ore Reserves, 9% by Indicated Resources, and 66% by Inferred Resources. Mined copper is reported as total recoverable metal. These estimates of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves were reported in a release dated 20 June 2023 titled “Rio Tinto Kennecott Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” (Table 1 Release) which is available on Rio Tinto's website at resources & reserves (, and have been prepared by Competent Persons in accordance with the requirements of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, 2012 (JORC Code) and the ASX Listing Rules.

    3 This production target is reported as total recoverable metal and is underpinned as to 100% by Probable Ore Reserves. These estimates of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves were reported in a release to the ASX dated 27 September 2022 titled "Rio Tinto Kennecott Mineral Resource and Ore Reserves” and have been prepared by Competent Persons in accordance with the requirements of the JORC Code and the ASX Listing Rules.

    4 Wood Mackenzie copper equivalent cash cost curve (Q4 2021).

    5 The 500ktpa target (stated as recovered metal) for the Oyu Tolgoi underground and open pit mines is underpinned 17 per cent by Proved Ore Reserves and 83 per cent by Probable Ore Reserves for the years 2028-2036. The 350kpa production target for the following 5 years is underpinned 18 per cent by Proved Ore Reserves and 82 per cent by Probable Ore Reserves. These production targets have been scheduled from current mine designs by Competent Persons in accordance with the requirements of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Minerals Resources and Ore Reserves, 2012 Edition (the JORC code).

    6 Rio Tinto Annual Results 2022, published 22 February 2023.

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Mining exploration – what does the future hold?

Sinead Kaufman, Chief Executive Minerals