Rio Tinto Q3 Iron Ore Shipments Down; Sees FY Iron Ore Shipments At Low End Of Prior Guidance

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) reported that its third quarter Pilbara iron ore shipments were 82.9 million tonnes (100% basis), 1% lower than the third quarter of 2021. But Pilbara iron ore production was 84.3 million tonnes (100% basis) in the third quarter, 1% higher than the third quarter of 2021.

The company expects full year iron ore shipments to be at the low end of the original guidance range of 320 million tonne to 335 million tonne.

Third quarter Bauxite production of 13.7 million tonnes was 2% lower than the third quarter of 2021 due to equipment reliability issues at Gove.

Mined copper production in Kennecott was 19% higher than the third quarter of 2021. Refined copper production guidance has been reduced to 190 thousand tonnes to 220 thousand tonnes from the prior outlook of 230 thousand tonnes to 290 thousand tonnes.

The company shipped 9.0 million tonnes of bauxite to third parties in the third quarter, 10% lower than the same period of 2021, due to vessel loading constraints at Weipa.

Alumina production of 1.8 million tonnes was 5% lower than the third quarter of 2021.

Aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes was 2% lower than the third quarter of 2021, and 4% higher than the prior quarter as the Kitimat smelter continues to ramp up and Boyne smelter cell recovery efforts progress as expected.

In a separate press release, Rio Tinto said that the company (50 per cent) and Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd (50 per cent) agreed to modernise the joint venture covering the Rhodes Ridge iron ore project in the East Pilbara in Western Australia.

The binding joint venture now provides a pathway for the development of the Rhodes Ridge deposits utilising Rio Tinto’s rail, port and power infrastructure.

The companies have commenced an order of Magnitude study, conducted by Rio Tinto, which will consider the development of an operation before the end of the decade with initial plant capacity of up to 40 million tonnes annually.

The joint venture will utilize Rio Tinto’s existing rail, port and power infrastructure, including the planned installment of 1 gigawatt of renewable power assets in the Pilbara.

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