Rio Tinto achieves record iron ore production

Updated: 2012-01-17 14:53


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SYDNEY - Global miner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it had achieved a record global iron ore production of 65 million tones (Mt) in the three months to December, bringing full year output to 245 Mt.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese said production across the group had bounced back from the severe weather conditions in the first half which had the biggest impact on Australian iron ore, coal and uranium.

The company had forecast iron ore output of 240 Mt for calendar 2011.

Rio Tinto said that 2011 global iron ore shipments totaled a record 239 Mt but were below actual production levels due to extreme weather conditions experienced in Western Australia's Pilbara region in the first half of the year.

The miner said in a statement on Tuesday that the expansion of its Pilbara mines to 283 Mt a year by the end of 2013 remained on track.

The international mining group also said lower grades at its Escondida mine in Chile and Kennecott Utah operations in the United States impacted mined copper throughout most of 2011, driving production down 23 percent year on year, in line with guidance.