Rio Tinto has achieved record production levels for the first quarter of 2014 thanks to iron ore productivity gains in the Pilbara and increased bauxite production in Queensland’s far north, according to chief executive Sam Walsh.
“Rio Tinto has started the year with a series of performance records as we continue to drive productivity gains across our operations,” Walsh said.
Our Pilbara iron ore business has again set new benchmarks for production, shipments and rail volumes for the first quarter and we are well on track to reach nameplate capacity of 290Mt/a by the end of the first half of 2014.”
“Record first quarter bauxite production and shipments were driven by a ramp up of production at the Weipa mine in Australia to feed the newly expanded Yarwun alumina refinery” Walsh said.
In a statement the company said, “Shipments from the Pilbara exceeded production in the quarter, despite the impact of tropical cyclone Christine which closed ports for three days at the end of 2013 and affected the progressive recovery of rail and ports into January.”
“The full ramp up is well on track to achieve nameplate capacity of 290 Mt/a by the end of the first half of 2014.”
The statement also claimed Rio’s coal production improved in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 due to the productivity improvement programme.