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Rio Tinto: Second quarter 2012 operations review

Second quarter 2012 operations review

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Chief executive Tom Albanese said “The second quarter was strong across most of the portfolio, with record first half iron ore production, and copper, bauxite, alumina, coking coal and titanium dioxide production all higher than in the second quarter of 2011.

“Global economic conditions and sentiment dropped markedly in the second quarter. We are keeping a close eye on the pace of the US recovery, the continuing Eurozone crisis and the impact of efforts to stimulate the Chinese economy on the markets that we serve. Our investment programme remains resilient to this market volatility, as our tier one projects are robust under any probable macroeconomic scenario.”

• First half iron ore production of 120 million tonnes (94 million tonnes attributable) and shipments of 115 million tonnes were both four per cent higher than the first half of 2011. Global iron ore production for the quarter totalled 62 million tonnes (49 million tonnes attributable), in line with the second quarter of 2011.

• During the quarter, Rio Tinto announced further investments to advance the expansion of its industry leading Pilbara iron ore business to 353 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a) and to progress further the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

• Mined copper production was five per cent higher than the second quarter of 2011, primarily driven by processing efficiencies and higher copper grades at Escondida.

• On 18 April 2012 Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd signed an agreement under which Rio Tinto agreed to support and provide certain elements of a comprehensive funding package for Ivanhoe that will underpin the development of the Oyu Tolgoi project.

• Bauxite and alumina production were eight per cent and five per cent higher than the second quarter of 2011. Aluminium was 12 per cent lower than the second quarter of 2011, primarily reflecting the shutdown of two thirds of capacity at Alma, due to a labour dispute that has now been resolved. Construction of the Yarwun 2 alumina refinery expansion was completed during the quarter with first commercial production expected in the third quarter of 2012.

• Hard coking coal production was 13 per cent higher than the second quarter of 2011, and thermal coal production was consistent with the second quarter in 2011. In June 2012, Rio Tinto announced the first shipment of premium hard coking coal from its Benga Mine in Mozambique.

• Titanium dioxide feedstock production increased five per cent from the corresponding period in 2011.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto’s share of production, unless otherwise stated


About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

Contacts:

Media Relations, EMEA / Americas
Illtud Harri
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1152
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 503 600

Christina Mills
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1154
Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605

Media Relations, Australia / Asia
David Luff
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 850 205

Karen Halbert
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627
Mobile: +61 (0) 412 119 389

Bruce Tobin
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3612
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 103 454

Media Relations, Canada
Bryan Tucker
Office: +1 (0) 514 848 8151
Mobile: +1 (0) 514 825 8319

Investor Relations, London
Mark Shannon
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1178
Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 576 597

David Ovington
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978

Investor Relations, North America
Jason Combes
Office: +1 (0) 801 204 2919
Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645

Investor Relations, Australia
Dave Skinner
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309

Christopher Maitland
Office +61 (0) 3 9283 3063
Mobile +61 (0) 459 800 131

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