TOP NEWS: Rio Tinto Pilbara shipments up, output down at start of 2021

(Alliance News) - Rio Tinto PLC on Tuesday left its annual production guidance unchanged after a ...

Alliance News 20 April, 2021 | 6:11AM
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(Alliance News) - Rio Tinto PLC on Tuesday left its annual production guidance unchanged after a "solid" first-quarter.

The miner's Pilbara iron ore shipments rose 7% annually to 77.8 million tonnes in the first three months of the year. Pilbara output slipped 2% to 76.4 million tonnes, however.

"Labour resource availability and weather challenges disrupted maintenance. Tropical Cyclone Seroja impacted mine and port operations in April," Rio Tinto explained.

Bauxite output also was 2% lower, at 13.6 million, while production of mined copper was 9% lower year-on-year at 120,500 tonnes. For aluminium, production was 3% higher at 803,000 tonnes.

For the whole of 2021, Rio continues to expect Pilbara iron ore shipments of between 325 million and 340 million tonnes. Guidance for bauxite, aluminium and mined copper also was unchanged.

"The future impact on our Pilbara iron ore operations, mine developments and heritage approach from the reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 remains unknown. We will maintain a high level of engagement with traditional owners regarding current and proposed plans for mining activities," the company cautioned.

Outcry and regulatory scrutiny followed the company after it blew up a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site to expand the Pilbara iron ore mine in Western Australia. In May of last year, Rio Tinto had blasted rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia's remote Pilbara region, destroying one of the earliest known sites occupied by Australia's indigenous people, in order to expand its iron ore mine.

Rio Tinto added on Tuesday: "We continue to work through scenarios in an iterative manner as cultural assessments and mine designs progress, with a broad range of options subject to heritage and environmental approvals, given the flexibility in our Pilbara network."

Rio Tinto shares were 0.8% lower at AUD119.87 each in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Rio Tinto PLC 5,942.00 GBX 1.02

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