Shanghai city

Our Business

Rio Tinto is a mining and metals company operating in around 36 countries around the world. Our purpose is to produce the materials essential to human progress.

Our four product groups bring this purpose to life: Aluminium, Copper & Diamonds, Energy & Minerals and Iron Ore. These are complemented by our Growth & Innovation and Commercial groups, as well as our service and support functions.

 Business Structure

  • Iron Ore
  • Aluminium
  • Copper & Diamonds
  • Energy & Minerals
  • Growth & Innovation
  • Commercial

Iron Ore

Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) comprises our integrated iron ore operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia, which use cutting-edge technology to mine and transport iron ore to our customers safely, efficiently and in response to market conditions.

Our Pilbara iron ore operations include a world-class, integrated network of 16 iron ore mines, four independent port terminals, a 1,700 kilometre rail network and related infrastructure.

$24.1B

Gross Revenue

$16.1B

Underlying EBITDA

326.7MT

Iron Ore Produced (100% Basis)

5.4MT

Salt Produced

2019 figures

 

Insights from data help us to explore and extract our iron ore efficiently. Our Operations Centre in Perth uses next-generation technologies, including artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, to run operations in real-time and respond quickly to changes. Our AutoHaul™ train system is the first fully autonomous, long-distance, heavy-haul rail network – the world’s largest robot.

Each of these elements works together to deliver high-quality iron ore, including our flagship Pilbara Blend™, to our customers reliably and safely.

Our three operations at Dampier Salt, in Western Australia, are also part of RTIO.

Operations

  • 16 integrated mines in Western Australia
  • 5 iron ore products
  • 4 port terminals


Biography: Chris Salisbury - Chief Executive, Iron Ore

Aluminium

We are a global leader in aluminium, with large-scale, high-quality bauxite mines and alumina refineries – and, in Canada, technologically advanced, low-cost smelters producing aluminium certified as “responsible”.

Through our integrated portfolio of mines, refineries and smelters, we source bauxite and produce alumina and aluminium. Managing the process from start to finish allows us to bring quality products to our customers efficiently, carefully calibrated to meet their specific and changing needs – from sustainably sourced aluminium to new, lighter alloys for the automotive industry.

$10.3B

Gross Revenue

$2.3B

Underlying EBITDA

55.1MT

Bauxite Produced

3,171KT

Aluminium Produced

2019 figures

 

Our low-cost Canadian operations are in the first decile of the industry cost-curve and produce aluminium using clean, renewable hydropower. Since its upgrade in 2015, our Kitimat smelter in British Columbia has produced twice as much aluminium with half the emissions. And, across our global aluminium operations, our greenhouse gas footprint is 60% lower than the global industry average.


Operations

  • 5 bauxite mines in Australia, Brazil and Guinea
  • 4 alumina refineries in Australia, Brazil and Canada
  • 14 aluminium smelters in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Oman
  • 7 hydropower plants in Canada supplying 100% of the electricity we use there
  • 2 wholly-owned port and rail facilities serving our plants in Canada
  • 3 research & development centres in Canada, France and Australia

 


Biography: Alf Barrios - Chief Executive, Aluminium

Copper & Diamonds

Our portfolio of copper and diamond mines share an expertise in underground mining as well as a focus on safety, productivity and sustainability.

$5.8B

Gross Revenue

$2.1B

Underlying EBITDA

577KT

Mined Copper Produced

17,030K 

Carats Diamonds Produced

2019 figures

Copper

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 three tonnes of copper.

Our copper operations around the world are at various stages in the mining lifecycle, from exploration to rehabilitation. We supply customers in China, Japan and the US. Oyu Tolgoi, our mine in Mongolia, has reserves and resources that make it one of the world’s largest known copper and gold deposits. When working to full capacity, it will be the world’s third-biggest copper mine.

Diamonds

In diamonds, we are a fully integrated global exploration, mining and sales and marketing business. We are one of the world’s largest producers of rough diamonds from our two mines – Argyle in Australia and Diavik in Canada.

We provide a reliable supply of white and coloured diamonds – including the renowned Argyle pink diamonds, the world's most sought-after diamonds – mined to the highest possible ethical and environmental standards. As a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, we support responsible and ethical social and environmental practices throughout the jewellery supply chain. We are also members of the World Diamond Council and the Diamond Producers Association which uphold the reputation of diamond miners as careful custodians of these natural treasures.

Operations

  • 3 copper operations in the US, Mongolia and Chile
  • 2 copper growth projects in the US and Mongolia
  • 2 diamond operations in Canada and Australia

 


Biography: Arnaud Soirat - Chief Executive, Copper & Diamonds

 

Energy & Minerals

The products from our diverse portfolio of high-quality mining, refining and marketing operations and projects make important contributions to people’s everyday lives, as well as to a wide variety of industries.

The Energy & Minerals (E&M) portfolio includes titanium dioxide; rutile and zircon; borates; iron ore concentrate and pellets; and uranium. E&M products are used in everything from television screens to paints and plastics, and in industries from healthcare to aerospace.

$5.2B

Gross Revenue

$1.8B

Underlying EBITDA

1,206KT

Titanium Dioxide Slag Produced

520KT

Borates Produced

10.5MT

Iron Ore Pellets & Concentrate Produced

2019 figures

 

As a key global supplier of borates, we account for approximately 25% of global demand – with mining, processing, commercial and research facilities. Our Iron & Titanium business is a major global producer of high-grade titanium dioxide feedstock. The Iron Ore Company of Canada produces premium iron ore pellets and high-grade concentrate with low levels of impurities. We continue to study the Jadar lithium-borate project in Serbia. We also own interests in uranium, namely in Energy Resources of Australia and a uranium project in Canada.

The Rio Tinto Ventures team, part of E&M, is exploring partnerships and other opportunities that will allow us to expand into metals critical to a low-carbon economy with a strong focus on battery materials.

Operations

  • 6 mining sites
  • 6 countries
  • 4 sectors:
    • Borates
    • Iron ore concentrate & pellets
    • Titanium dioxide
    • Uranium

 


Biography: Bold Baatar - Chief Executive, Energy & Minerals

Growth & Innovation

G&I works across our business, supporting each product group’s daily operations – from exploration to construction to adopting new technology to closure. 

At our Winu exploration project in Western Australia, for example, G&I is trialling the use of drones to create detailed 3D models and maps. At the FalCon project in Canada, G&I is using a mega-drill to collect bulk samples from up to 250 metres below ground. 

The G&I team also works to create a more efficient, safe and agile Rio Tinto by managing major technical risks, researching and developing new ways of operating, automating for safety and productivity and partnering with our sites to replicate industry-leading best practice. A Group Technical team ensures that expertise and best practices from our global operations is shared and followed. G&I also has Centres of Excellence in analytics, asset management, automation, energy and climate change, orebody knowledge, processing, surface mining and underground mining.

G&I also provides technical expertise and project management to close our sites when they reach the end of their lives: our Closure team within G&I oversees this work to minimise the impacts and risk, and to maximise benefits from winding down our operations.

G&I’s Information Systems & Technology team manages and protects the data and technology we use to successfully run our business, and is helping us understand and realise what it means to be a digitally-enabled enterprise.

Rio Tinto’s Group Health, Safety, Environment and Security team, also part of G&I, helps keep our people, contractors and suppliers safe. We believe all accidents and work-related health risks are preventable, so we concentrate on identifying, understanding, managing and, where possible, eliminating these. 

 

  • 3 new Centres of Excellence – Processing in Montreal, Surface Mining in Perth and Underground Mining in Brisbane
  • 7 different commodities being explored in 16 countries
  • $2.1 billion spent on capital projects in 2019

Commercial

Our Commercial group creates value in partnership with our customers and suppliers, informed by market insights across our value chain. Understanding the needs of our customers and suppliers is crucial to successfully navigating commodity and economic cycles.

The Commercial group brings together our global sales and marketing, procurement, marine, logistics and marketing analysis activities to strengthen our ability to share commercial insights and build cross-product group capabilities. They are the voice of customers and suppliers within our company, connecting market perspectives back to our assets and operations.

Our value chain:

  • 2,000 customers across 96 countries
  • 200 contracted ships managed at any one time
  • 37,000 suppliers

 


Biography: Simon Trott - Chief Commercial Officer

 

What do we do?

  • 1. Explore & Evaluate
  • 2. Develop & Innovate
  • 3. Mine & Process
  • 4. Market & Deliver
  • 5. Repurpose & Renew

Explore & Evaluate

We use some of the most advanced exploration technologies in the world to find potential new sources of minerals and metals. And we consider new products and operations with an understanding of our customers' and communities' needs. We are also mindful of the future: our environmental impact, as well as the diversity and balance of our portfolio.

Why exploring for Rio Tinto is “one of the best jobs in the world.”

Develop & Innovate

We assess each potential operation with a focus on risk, potential returns, and long-term sustainability and value. Once we have approved an investment, we design and build each operation. We aim to develop every potential site to achieve optimal, long-term productivity while minimising risks. Our growing network of partners – governments, communities, customers and suppliers – is helping expand our thinking, capabilities and ability to deliver mutual benefit.

Alex and David discuss the building of our new Amrun wharf.

Mine & Process

A safe site is a productive site, and advanced technologies are playing a more important role in how we achieve both. We also share best practices across our assets to create safe, environmentally responsible working practices and a high-performing culture that targets production at lower costs.

At the same time, our operations aim to benefit local economies by contributing jobs, taxes and royalties, contracts with local businesses and social and community investment. By understanding and respecting our business partners, employees, communities, and the environment, we can create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.

Market & Deliver

Our minerals and metals are used in a vast array of everyday products – from cars to coffee pods to smart phones. Our Commercial team ensure that we manage our products in line with market and customer needs. And our network of rail, ports and ships means that we can control end-to-end logistics to deliver our products safely, efficiently and reliably.

How does our story become yours?

Repurpose & Renew

We aim to design and run our assets to create a positive legacy once our mining activity concludes. Applying this approach could entail rehabilitating the land for a nature reserve, for example, or repurposing it for light industrial use. Each of our sites has rehabilitation plans that we review each year. We see this long-term approach – planning and operating with the future in mind – as integral to running a safe, responsible and profitable business.