Rio Tinto delivers strong first quarter production

riotinto1Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said “Rio Tinto has started the year with a series of performance records as we continue to drive productivity gains across our operations. Our Pilbara iron ore business has again set new benchmarks for production, shipments and rail volumes for the first quarter and we are well on track to reach nameplate capacity of 290Mt/a by the end of the first half of 2014. Our mined copper production benefited from higher ore grades at Kennecott Utah Copper and production ramp up at Oyu Tolgoi and we also had a record first quarter for bauxite, primarily driven by higher production at Weipa.”



Q1 2014

vs Q1 2013

vs Q4 2013

Global iron ore shipments mt (100% basis)




Global iron ore production mt (100% basis)




Mined copper kt (RT share)




Bauxite mt (RT share)




Aluminium kt (RT share)




Hard coking coal mt (RT share)




Semi-soft and thermal coal mt (RT share)




Titanium dioxide feedstock kt (RT share)




  • Record first quarter iron ore production, shipments and rail volumes. Shipments from the Pilbara exceeded production in the quarter, despite the impact of tropical cyclone Christine which closed our ports for three days at the end of 2013 and affected the progressive recovery of rail and ports into January. The full ramp up is well on track to achieve nameplate capacity of 290 Mt/a by the end of the first half of 2014.
  • Mined copper benefited from higher grades at Kennecott Utah Copper and production at Oyu Tolgoi. This more than offset the elimination of production from copper assets divested in 2013.
  • Record first quarter bauxite production and shipments were driven by a ramp up of production at the Weipa mine in Australia to feed the newly expanded Yarwun alumina refinery.
  • Production of coal improved in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 due to the productivity improvement programme.
  • Exploration and evaluation expenditure was $155 million in the first quarter of 2014, sustaining the savings achieved in 2013 whilst progressing the highest priority future growth projects.
  • On 13 March 2014, Rio Tinto launched the latest phase of its industry-leading Mine of the Future™ technology and innovation programme.  The Processing Excellence Centre (PEC) is a state-of-the-art facility that harnesses ‘big data’ in real time at seven Rio Tinto copper and coal operations across the globe to maximise productivity and improve performance.

 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.