RIO Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) is involved in the operations of exploring, developing and processing the minerals and the metals worldwide. On 16 October 2018, RIO Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) released its third quarter production results. The company delivered consistent operational performance in the third quarter highlighted by strong production from the Group’s copper assets. Following this news, the share price of the company increased by 1.54 percent as on 16 October 2018 (12:45 PM AEST).
On 15 August 2018, a truck operator was injured at a Paraburdoo Iron Ore mine and on 9 July a serious incident occurred at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) mining operation, resulting in the fatality of a security contractor. In the third quarter, the Pilbara iron ore shipments were 5 per cent less than the corresponding quarter of 2017 to 81.9 million tonnes, mainly due to planned maintenance cycles and safety pauses across all operations following the fatality.
The company’s Bauxite production was 1 per cent lower than the third quarter of 2017 to 12.7 million tonnes, with strong production at Weipa offset by lower production at the non-managed Sangaredi and Porto Trombetas (MRN) mines. Third party shipments increased by 2% to 8.4 million tonnes which reflects firm demand. Driven by the ongoing labor disruptions at the non-managed Becancour smelter in Canada, the Aluminum production of the company decreased 1% per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017 to 0.9 million tonnes. The company’s Titanium dioxide slag production decreased by 9 percent as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. However, it was 28 percent higher than the previous quarter as production at Rio Tinto Fer et Titane and RBM ramped up after the disruptions in the second quarter.
The company’s Mined copper production increased by 32 percent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017, which reflects increased production from Rio Tinto Kennecott due to higher grades.
On August 01, 2018, Rio Tinto completed sale of the remaining coal assets for about $ 3.95 billion. This, along with the sale of the Winchester South development project in the first half of 2018, resulted in gross disposal proceeds of $4.15 billion. On 20 September 2018, Rio Tinto announced the return to shareholders of the $3.2 billion post-tax coal disposal proceeds through an off-market buy-back tender in Rio Tinto Limited shares totaling $1.9 billion, and further on-market purchases of Rio Tinto plc shares of around $1.3 billion.
It is expected that the first bauxite shipment from Amrun will be occurring in the 4th quarter of 2018 with full ramp-up in 2019. Following an annual re-forecast of the Oyu Tolgoi underground development schedule and costs, capital costs remain aligned with the overall $5.3 billion budget and construction of the first draw bell is still expected in mid-2020. The preliminary re-forecast assessment indicates ground conditions and shaft sinking challenges. These conditions and challenges are expected to result in a revised ramp-up schedule to sustainable first production. However, RIO maintained to ship at upper-end of 330 to 340 million tonnes.
In the past six months the share price of the company decreased by 0.59 percent as on 15 October 2018. RIO’s share traded at $78.695 with a market capitalization of circa $31.96 billion as on 16 October 2018.
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