Rio Tinto lowers production forecasts due to shortage of mining giants in Western Australia

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Rio Tinto lowers production forecasts due to shortage of mining giants in Western Australia

  • Mining Copper, Bauxite and Iron Ore Lumps Production Forecasts
  • Strike strikes aluminum production in Canada’s Rio Tintos Kitimat Seltzer
  • CEO Jacob Stousholm said: ‘This is another quarter of operations.’


Rio Tinto has slashed its iron ore production forecasts for the year due to a shortage of workers and delays in completing new mine projects.

The mining corporation expects to ship 320 million and 325 million megatonas (Mt) of iron ore from Western Australia’s Pilbara operations, compared to its previous guidance of 325 million to 340 million Mt.

It said the recruitment difficulties were due to heavy coronavirus restrictions on movement between various Australian states, leading to developments at the Goody-Dory Greenfield and Robb Valley Brownfield locations.

Mineral Growth: Rio Tinto expects to ship 320 million and 325 million megatons (MT) of iron ore from its Pilbara operations in Western Australia this year

Production forecasts for mined copper, bauxite and iron ore pellets decreased in the third quarter of the year after the mineral output declined by 3 per cent.

Refined copper production closed the Kennecott Melting Mines in Utah, which began to emit molten copper and then announce a ‘force majeure’ on consumer contracts.

Meanwhile, a two-month strike at the Rio Tintos Kitimat Smelter in Canada has had a negative impact on aluminum production as a result of various grievances, including work pensions.

But the biggest production collapse was in a titanium dioxide slag, mined by the company’s Richards Bay Minerals subsidiary, whose operation was badly affected by violent unrest.

Chief executive Jacob Stausholm said: ‘This is another quarter of operation, and we recognize the opportunity to improve our performance, despite the improvement over the previous quarter.’

He said: ‘We are advancing against our four pillars and are trying to strengthen Rio Tinto, especially to become the best operator.

Labor problems: Rio Tinto said labor shortages due to coronavirus restrictions in Australia caused development in two places

Labor problems: Rio Tinto said labor shortages due to coronavirus restrictions in Australia caused development in two places

‘This will ensure that we continue to provide attractive returns to shareholders, invest to sustain and grow our portfolio and make a broader contribution to society, especially in relation to driving net-zero carbon emissions.’

Over the past year, the Anglo-Australian corporation has been covered by significant difficulties, particularly the loss of two Aboriginal caves in Western Australia that are 46,000 years old.

It later apologized for the move, which led to then-chief executive Jean-Sebastian Jacques and two other senior company officials stepping down and launching an Australian parliamentary hearing.

And, last month, the Financial Conduct Authority launched a business investigation into allegations that Mongolia misled the market over the purchase of the Ou Tolgoi copper mine.

Boom: Iron ore prices hit a peak early this year due to strong demand from China

Boom: Iron ore prices hit a peak early this year due to strong demand from China

But despite these problems, high commodity prices and rising demand have enabled Rio Tinto to register impressive economic results as economies begin to recover.

Aluminum prices have reached record highs due to the meltdown in China and the military uprising in Guinea, which has raised concerns about bauxite supply from the African country.

China’s strong demand has led to record prices of copper and iron ore this year, but the popularity of the electric vehicles market has increased the demand for battery materials.

‘The global economy is recovering, vaccine rates are constantly increasing and global trade flows are recovering,’ the dual-listed business said.

While governments continue to provide active support, we remain alert to the dangers of disrupting some of the progress already being made.

“The risks associated with the supply and demand of goods are increased due to supply chain disruptions and lack of material and energy.”

Shares in Rio Tinto closed 1.4 per cent lower at £ 50.38 on Friday.

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