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Rio Tinto’s iron ore output falls

Keywords: Tags  Rio Tinto, iron ore output, iron ore, Western Australia, Pilbara, Steel First

SHANGHAI — Rio Tinto Plc’s global iron ore production on an attributable basis during the fourth quarter of 2012 slipped to 52 million tonnes, down 1.3 percent from the third quarter’s record high.

The world’s second-largest iron ore miner’s output from its Pilbara operations in western Australia on an attributable basis also fell 1.3 percent during the quarter to 49.7 million tonnes, according to AMM sister publication Steel First’s calculations based on data announced Jan. 15 by Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto’s fourth-quarter output of Pilbara Blend fines dropped 6 percent quarter over quarter to 17.7 million tonnes.

Sales on a 100-percent basis from its western Australia operations reached a new record of 62.9 million tonnes during the quarter ended Dec. 31, up 3.1 percent compared with the previous quarter.

Rio Tinto’s global iron ore output for the whole of 2012 on an attributable basis totaled 198.9 million tonnes, up 3.6 percent year on year.

Its global shipment of iron ore on a 100-percent basis amounted to a record 247 million tonnes last year, up 3.3 percent from 2011, “despite severe weather disruptions during the first quarter (of) 2012 and a significant maintenance shutdown at the Cape Lambert facilities in the second quarter.”

In November, Rio Tinto increased its production capacity at Pilbara to 237 million tonnes per year from 230 million tonnes through de-bottlenecking and productivity improvement, which will push its expansion target to 360 million tonnes per year from 353 million tonnes by the end of the first half of 2015.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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