Tom Albanese,
CEO,
Rio Tinto
 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 October 2008 – The long-term outlook for Rio Tinto – one of the world’s leading mining and exploration companies – remains positive despite the upheavals in global markets.
 
Revealing the company’s third quarter operations review, chief executive Tom Albanese said that in the three months to 30 September 2008, Rio Tinto had continued to perform extremely well, breaking yet more production records in iron ore, bauxite, hard coking coal and US coal.

“In the near term, the Chinese economy is pausing for breath,” he said. “China is not completely insulated from an OECD recession, and we will see an impact on Chinese exports. However, the near-term slowdown of growth is substantially due to tightening of monetary policy introduced by the Chinese government last year to tackle inflation,” he added.

“Furthermore”, Albanese continued, “we expect third quarter economic data to show an exaggerated slowdown, reflecting the postponement of projects during the Olympics. And looking further out, Chinese GDP will remain largely driven by the domestic economy, and we expect industrialisation and urbanisation to continue apace with strengthening demand across a range of Rio Tinto products,” he said.

“With our cost competitive assets, resilient margins and strong customer base, Rio Tinto is well placed to weather the current economic weakness,” Albanese emphasised. “Against the backdrop of the current markets, the Group is taking the opportunity to review the near term spending timelines and project costs of its capital expenditure programme, while preserving the optionality of its high-quality growth pipeline overall.”

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc – a London and NYSE-listed public company –  and Rio Tinto Limited, which is a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Its business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources, and its major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals and iron ore.