London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 July 2008 – Rio Tinto – a London and New York-listed international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom – has set quarterly production records for iron ore, mined copper and alumina in the second quarter of 2008, thanks to increasing investment in growth projects.
The company’s second quarter operational review released here revealed that quarterly global production of iron ore was up 13% on the second quarter of 2007, and announced an 85.7% price increase negotiated with Asian customers for 2008 contract shipments from the Pilbara in Australia. It added that record quarterly mined copper production for existing operations had risen 15% above the corresponding quarter of 2007.
The review went on to say that Rio Tinto Alcan continued to perform well with bauxite production up 100%, alumina up by 231% and aluminium up by 374%, compared to the second quarter of 2007. On a pro forma basis the respective increases for bauxite, alumina and aluminium were 11%, 9% and 1% It also confirmed that the Sohar aluminium smelter in Oman had started operating in June, on time and within budget.
Commenting on the second quarter’s production results, chief executive Tom Albanese said: “These strong results show that we are continuing to expand to meet rapid demand growth in the developing world. The integration of Alcan is proceeding to plan, and the business continues to perform well. I am particularly pleased to see how swiftly our Australian coal operations recovered from the first quarter floods,” he added.
“Chinese GDP is continuing to grow at around 10% per annum, demand is strong and supply remains constrained. Fundamentals – not financial speculation – are driving the record prices we are realising across aluminium, copper, iron ore and coal, and we see the same trends continuing into the future,” Albanese concluded.