Rio Tinto, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, is ramping up productivity and reducing costs to combat market fragility and volatility.

“We have cut costs and are set to exceed our commitments made in February. Operating costs are down $1.8 billion year to date compared to the same period last year and exploration and evaluation costs are more than $800 million lower,” said Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh.

“We are also improving productivity, setting new production records in many of our key businesses and bringing our Oyu Tolgoi and Pilbara 290Mt/a expansion growth projects online within budget and on time. And we are delivering exceptional value from our growth opportunities, by continually optimising and improving our mine planning to generate the best returns.”

Rio Tinto’s capex is reducing, and will come down further, to around $11 billion next year.

“While there is always more to do I am confident we are well on the way to transforming Rio Tinto into the highest performer in our sector. A company respected for delivering value and immensely proud to contribute to the economies around the world wherever we operate. Therefore, the outlook for our business is robust and we are strengthening our ability to capitalise on opportunities available to us in the future.”