Rio Tinto has announced third-quarter 2023 production results for its global operations.
Compared with the same period in 2022, iron ore production at the company’s Pilbara plant in Western Australia fell 1% to 83.5 million tons, but iron ore shipments increased 1% to 83.9 million tons.
Rio Tinto expects Pilbara iron ore shipments to be between 320-335 million tons in 2023 and between 323-338 million tons in 2024.
“Our Pilbara iron ore business has achieved another quarter of progress and maintains momentum,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said.
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Total bauxite production reached 13.9 million tonnes, an increase of 2% from the third quarter of 2022.
Rio Tinto attributed the rebound to the stability of its operations, particularly at its Weipa mine in Queensland, where it said equipment reliability and performance had improved.
Aluminum production was 800,000 tonnes, up 9% from the third quarter of 2022, as the company’s Kitimat smelter in British Columbia returned to full capacity.
Mineralized copper production reached 169,000 tonnes, an increase of 5% from the third quarter of 2022.
Rio Tinto said it benefited from continued improvements in copper grades at its high-grade Oyu Tolgoi underground mine in Mongolia and Escondida in Chile.
Stausholm said: “We continue to make good progress in expanding our high-quality Oyu Tolgoi underground copper mine, our Kitimat aluminum smelter has returned to full production, and the Kennecott smelter and refinery is completing its historic milestone. After the largest rebuild, we have safely restarted.”
“We have more work to do as we work to achieve sustainable performance improvements across the business.
“We have made great progress in building the Rio Tinto of the future, striking a balance between maintaining disciplined performance in changing market conditions, investing to generate valuable long-term growth and delivering attractive returns to shareholders.”