SYDNEY (Australia): Mining giant Rio Tinto reported Tuesday a ramp up in iron ore shipments on surging prices, but copper output disappointed amid production issues at its global mines.
Prices in key commodities including iron ore have soared in recent months, supporting producers, with shares in Rio Tinto jumping above 60% from your last year.
Rio said iron ore shipments rose by 3% to 327.Six million tonnes last year when compared with 2015, in accordance with guidance. Production lifted by 6% for 2016 to 329.5 million tonnes.
“Now we have delivered a powerful operational performance in 2016, underpinned by our drive for efficiency and maximising profit,” Rio leader Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in the statement.
“Our disciplined approach remains constantly in place in 2017, when using the continued look at productivity, cost reduction and commercial excellence.”
Iron ore shipments were up 8% in the past three months of 2016 when compared to the previous quarter, while production for similar period rose by 3%.
Rio had continued to grow iron ore output even while commodity prices tumbled prior to when the recent rebound, in addition to slash spending and wind back capital expenditure.
Analysts said the Anglo-Australian miner was well-placed to resist any headwinds in the market.
“Rio Tinto has produced another solid production report, containing little to concern investors or affect the market outlook,” CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner said within a note.
“Overall, the organization is currently able as much as any down in metals prices which includes a strong balance sheet and prospects of further gains in productivity.”
Shares in Rio were up 0.54% to A$63.56 in Sydney at midday.
Copper output was up 4% to 523 thousand tonnes during the past year as compared with 2015, but was below full-year guidance amid lower-than-expected production with the Kennecott copper mine in Utah which had been tormented by a landslide in 2013.
Rio also reported that no copper was delivered under its 40% share of mined material along at the Freeport-McMoRan-owned Grasberg mine in eastern Papua province, Indonesia, for the
fourth-quarter, when the production threshold hasn\’t been exceeded.
The miner issued an entire copper production guidance of 525-665 thousand tonnes due to this year, and unchanged guidance of 330-340 million tonnes for iron ore for the same period.