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Rio Tinto (RIO)

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Friday 17 April, 2020

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto first quarter production results

RNS Number : 9599J
Rio Tinto PLC
17 April 2020
 

 

Rio Tinto releases first quarter production results

 

17 April 2020

 

Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques said "In these uncertain and unprecedented times we continue to deliver products to our customers with our first priority to protect the health and safety of all our employees and communities. We are focused on maintaining a business as usual approach and have taken extensive measures to ensure we can do so safely.

 

"All of our assets continue to operate and we achieved a very robust production performance in the first quarter. Our world-class portfolio and strong balance sheet serve us well in all market conditions and are particularly valuable in the current volatile environment. Our resilience and value over volume strategy mean we can continue to invest in our business, and support our communities and host governments."

 

Production*


Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Pilbara iron ore shipments (100% basis)

Mt

72.9

+5%

-16%

Pilbara iron ore production (100% basis)

Mt

77.8

+2%

-7%

Bauxite

Mt

13.8

+8%

-9%

Aluminium

kt

783

-2%

0%

Mined copper

kt

133.0

-8%

-4%

Titanium dioxide slag

kt

293

-1%

+3%

IOC iron ore pellets and concentrate

Mt

2.6

+3%

0%

*Rio Tinto share unless otherwise stated

Q1 Operational update

We are protecting the health of our employees and communities through rapid implementation of health and hygiene controls in response to Covid-19. We have also strengthened our focus on safety programmes to ensure the safety of our employees during a period of significant change.  

Pilbara iron ore shipments of 73 million tonnes (100% basis) were 5% higher than the first quarter of 2019, driven by a strong recovery across the network in March following tropical cyclone Damien in February 2020. The portside trading trial continues in China with the 1 millionth tonne of ore sold.

Bauxite production of 13.8 million tonnes was 8% higher than the first quarter of 2019, following the successful ramp-up of Amrun in 2019. Third party shipments of 9.5 million tonnes in the quarter were 7% higher than the same period of 2019.

Aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes in the first quarter was 2% lower than the first quarter of 2019 with ISAL operating at 85% capacity in line with our value over volume strategy.

Mined copper production of 133 thousand tonnes was 8% lower than the same period in 2019, reflecting anticipated lower copper grades, partially offset by higher throughput.

At Kennecott in the US, we are working to resume normal operations following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on 18 March. The mine, concentrator, tailings storage facility and refinery have all resumed safe and stable operations. There was some damage to the furnace, which impacts full year copper guidance (see below).

Titanium dioxide slag production of 293 thousand tonnes was 1% lower than the first quarter in 2019 partly due to Covid-19 restrictions in Quebec and South Africa.

Production of pellets and concentrate at the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) was 3% higher than the same period of 2019.

All major projects progressed well in the first quarter, but are now being affected by Covid-19 including government imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and people. Recovery rates may differ across regions - we will update the market once the situation stabilises.

 

Capital expenditure is now expected to be $5 to 6 billion in 2020 (down from the previous guidance of $7 billion) partly due to Covid-19 constraints, and partly due to the favourable currency impact from the strong US dollar. Capital expenditure originally planned for 2020 may subsequently flow into 2021 and 2022, and we will provide a further update on capital re-phasing in due course.

 

We are continuing to work with our customers to fulfil orders and meet their requirements while complying with government directives. Our customer order books remain healthy, with our commercial teams focusing on business continuity and customer support.

 

Covid-19

Our markets

Demand in China continues to recover. In the rest of the world, the outlook is more uncertain. Commodity supply is being disrupted as Covid-19 restrictions impact supply chains and people movement globally.

· Demand for the high-quality iron ores we produce remained strong in the first quarter of 2020, mainly driven by a combination of seaborne supply disruptions and solid demand from China's steel mills despite Covid-19 impacts.

· The market for primary aluminium contracted further in the first quarter of 2020 primarily due to lower automotive production.

· China's demand for imported bauxite continued to grow in the first quarter, as domestic reserves continue to decline in quality and quantity, and mine production was disrupted by Covid-19 restrictions.

· Although copper demand remained reasonable in the quarter, the decline in the price reflects deteriorating industrial growth expectations globally.

· To some extent, weaker commodity prices also reflect decreasing industry supply costs, which are falling due to a strong US dollar and tailwinds from lower energy and freight costs, partly offset by Covid-19 related expenditure.

Our assets

We have introduced measures to combat the spread and impacts of Covid-19, to ensure we keep our employees and communities safe, and our operations running. We are working closely with governments around the world to ensure our operations continue to contribute to society during this challenging time. Our assets are operating with some Covid-19 restrictions in place to comply with government directives. Full details of initiatives taken to date can be found on our website: www.riotinto.com/news/releases . Specifically, we have implemented the following actions:

Workforce

· We have changed rosters at our Iron Ore operations, construction and exploration projects meaning fewer crew changeovers at our sites and in our operations centre to reduce the risk of transmission.

· The majority of employees and critical contractors on national fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) arrangements have been relocated to Western Australia.

 

Operations

· We have reduced mining operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa in compliance with a government directive to effect a lockdown on 26 March for 21 days. The rail and port remain open for product shipments.

· We are working with the government of Quebec to comply with the directive to slow down non-critical projects and activities for our Quebec operations.

· We have shut down the fourth pot-line at the Tiwai Point smelter in New Zealand (NZAS) with production continuing on the other three lines to comply with government lockdown requirements for containing the spread of Covid-19 and to support the health and safety of our people at the site.

Products

· We have changed our product mix at IOC to focus on the production of concentrates in order to match market demand.

· In aluminium, in response to market conditions we have reduced the proportion of primary metal being produced as value added products.

 

 

G uidance

 

Production guidance

Rio Tinto share, unless otherwise stated

 

 

2020 (current)

2020 (previous)

 

Pilbara iron ore (shipments, 100% basis)

 

324 to 334 Mt

324 to 334 Mt

 

Bauxite

55 to 58 Mt

55 to 58 Mt

 

Alumina

7.8 to 8.2 Mt

7.8 to 8.2 Mt

 

Aluminium

3.1 to 3.3 Mt

3.1 to 3.3 Mt

 

Mined copper

475 to 520 kt

530 to 570 kt

 

Refined copper

165 to 205 kt

205 to 235 kt

 

Diamonds

12 to 14 M carats

12 to 14 M carats

 

Titanium dioxide slag

At lower end of 1.2 to 1.4 Mt

1.2 to 1.4 Mt

 

Iron Ore Company of Canada

pellets and concentrate

 

10.5 to 12.0 Mt

10.5 to 12.0 Mt

 

Boric oxide equivalent

~0.5 Mt

~0.5 Mt

 

 

 

· We will continue to monitor and adjust production levels and product mix to meet customer requirements in 2020, in line with our value over volume strategy, government imposed restrictions related to Covid-19, and any other potential Covid-19 related disruptions.

· Mined and refined copper guidance is lowered due to a potential reduction in second half output at Escondida from Covid-19 measures and the earthquake repairs at Kennecott.


· Titanium dioxide slag guidance is expected to be at the lower end of the prior guidance range due to Covid-19 restrictions instructed by the governments in Quebec and South Africa.

Operating costs

· Pilbara iron ore 2020 unit cost guidance of $14-$15 per tonne remains unchanged.

· Copper C1 unit cost guidance in 2020 is unchanged at 120-135 US cents/lb.

 

Investments, growth and development projects

 

· All major projects progressed well in the first quarter, but are now being affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. The team is investigating ways to mitigate Covid-19 impacts including those associated with roster changes, travel restrictions and the design and fabrication of long lead items in China and Europe. Whilst it is too early to estimate, the restrictions are likely to have some impact on our progress. Recovery rates may differ across regions - we will update the market once the situation stabilises.

 

· Capital expenditure is now expected to be $5 to 6 billion in 2020 (down from the previous guidance of $7 billion) partly due to Covid-19 constraints, and partly due to the favourable currency impact from the strong US dollar. Capital expenditure originally planned for 2020 may subsequently flow into 2021 and 2022, and we will provide a further update on capital re-phasing in due course.

 

· Exploration and evaluation spend in the first quarter was $144 million, 16% higher than the first quarter of 2019, reflecting an increase in central exploration including the Winu copper/gold project in Western Australia, and higher spend associated with our Jadar borates/lithium project in Serbia.

 

Pilbara replacement projects

· Overall construction is progressing with key personnel retained in Western Australia following the implementation of border controls to limit the transmission of Covid-19. The ramp-up of Koodaideri is still expected to occur in early 2022.

· The other Pilbara projects remain largely on track including Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 and Robe River Joint Venture sustaining projects (West Angelas C&D and Mesas B, C and H at Robe Valley). Environmental approval of Mesa H is progressing.

· We are working closely with the authorities to prevent any delay in the permitting process from Covid-19.

 

Oyu Tolgoi underground project

· As announced on 16 March 2020, work on the Oyu Tolgoi underground project continues, and we are achieving strong productivity in underground development (1,939 equivalent metres in March, average monthly 1,815 equivalent metres).

· Despite these gains, progress has slowed as a result of restrictions placed on the movement of people to contain the spread of Covid-19, including specialist commissioning personnel as well as goods.

· Work continues on the mine design and we still expect this to be completed in the first half of 2020 with the Definitive Estimate1 of cost and schedule in the second half of 2020. This will include the estimate of development capital costs and schedule for the underground project based on the updated design of Panel 0.

· Based on current information, the underground project remains within the range announced in July 2019 of a 16 to 30 month delay in schedule and an increase of $1.2 to $1.9 billion in development capital costs. Depending on how long they are in place, Covid-19 restrictions may impact the schedule range.

 

Other key projects and exploration and evaluation

· Phase one of the south wall pushback project at Kennecott remains on track with access to higher grades expected from 2021.

· The Zulti South project in South Africa continues to be on hold. A restart will not occur until Covid-19 restrictions have been fully lifted and security and community issues have been resolved.

· Construction of the second tunnel at the Kemano hydropower facility at Kitimat, British Columbia has been put on care and maintenance due to contractor availability. We are evaluating the impact and next steps to resume progress on the project.

· The Resolution Copper project in Arizona is progressing, with shaft 9 on schedule reaching 1.8 kilometres of the targeted 2.1 kilometres at the end of March.

· Construction of the ELYSIS research and development centre in the Saguenay has been temporarily suspended, aligned with the Covid-19 measures introduced by the Quebec government.

· On the Winu preliminary study for the copper/gold deposit in Western Australia, Covid-19 precautionary measures are in place. Drilling and fieldwork activities continue as planned at present. Future activities are likely to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions including the ability to move people and gain access to sites.

· Activities at the Falcon diamond study in Saskatchewan have been scaled back in response to Covid-19 constraints, with the 2019 bulk samples now being processed by the recently commissioned bulk diamond sampling plant.

 

 

  EBITDA Sensitivities: previously published for 2019, next update on 29 July 2020


2019 average price / rate

($m) impact on FY 2019 underlying 

EBITDA of 10% price/rate change

Copper

273c/lb

350

Aluminium

$1,791/t

482

Gold

$1,393/oz

54

Iron ore (62% Fe FOB)

$85.9/dmt

2,061

A$

0.70

529

C$

0.75

199

Oil (Brent)

$64/bbl

72

 

 

1 As described above, the level of accuracy of these estimates is preliminary in nature and subject to a range of variables, in line with previous guidance. The confidence level of these estimates is at a level associated with a Conceptual or Order of Magnitude Study, and further work is required between now and the second half of 2020 to refine the mine design options and study them to a level of confidence and accuracy associated with Feasibility Study quality estimates.

 

 

All figures in this report are unaudited. All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto's share of production, unless otherwise stated. To allow production numbers to be compared on a like-for-like basis, production from asset divestments completed in 2019 is excluded from Rio Tinto share of production data.

 

IRON ORE

 

Million tonnes

Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Rio Tinto share of production




Pilbara Blend and SP10 Lump1

18.5

-7%

-7%

Pilbara Blend and SP10 Fines1

27.7

-4%

-8%

Robe Valley Lump

1.5

+132%

-6%

Robe Valley Fines

2.4

+95%

-14%

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)

14.1

+5%

-1%

Total Pilbara production

64.2

0%

-7%

Total Pilbara production (100% basis)

77.8

-7%

 

Million tonnes

Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Rio Tinto share of shipments




Pilbara Blend Lump

14.4

-9%

-11%

Pilbara Blend Fines

26.7

-1%

-14%

Robe Valley Lump

1.1

+147%

-9%

Robe Valley Fines

2.7

+106%

-18%

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)

12.9

+5%

-15%

SP10 Lump1

1.0

N/A

-51%

SP10 Fines1

1.1

-29%

-48%

Total Pilbara shipments

59.9

+3%

-16%

Total Pilbara shipments (100% basis)

72.9

+5%

-16%

Total Pilbara sales (Rio Tinto share) 2

59.8

+3%

-15%

Total Pilbara sales (100% basis) 2

72.8

+5%

-15%

Total Pilbara sales (consolidated basis) 2, 3

61.6

-15%

1 SP10 includes some lower grade products.

2 Differences between shipments and sales reflect tonnes held for portside trading and material purchased from IOC and sold.

3 While Rio Tinto has a 53% net beneficial interest in Robe River Iron Associates, it recognises 65% of the assets, liabilities, sales revenues and expenses in its accounts (as 30% is held through a 60% owned subsidiary and 35% is held through a 100% owned subsidiary). The consolidated basis sales reported here include Robe River Iron Associates on a 65% basis to enable comparison with revenue reported in the financial statements.

 

Pilbara operations

Pilbara operations produced 77.8 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 64.2 million tonnes) in the first quarter, 2% higher than the first quarter of 2019. Production in the quarter was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Damien in February which caused infrastructure damage and interrupted operations due to flooding across the Pilbara network. There was a strong recovery in March across mines, rail and port.

First quarter sales of 72.8 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 59.8 million tonnes) were 5% above the first quarter of 2019, despite significant disruptions experienced at our ports and infrastructure damage as a result of Tropical Cyclone Damien.

Approximately 16% of sales in the first quarter were priced by reference to the prior quarter's average index lagged by one month. The remainder was sold either on current quarter average, current month average or on the spot market.

Approximately 33% of sales in the quarter were made free on board (FOB), with the remainder sold including freight.

ALUMINIUM

 

Rio Tinto share of production ('000 tonnes)


Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Bauxite

13,813

+8%

-9%

Bauxite third party shipments

9,469

+7%

-14%

Alumina

2,010

0%

-1%

Aluminium

783

-2%

0%

 

Bauxite

First quarter bauxite production of 13.8 million tonnes was 8% higher than the first quarter of 2019. Production was lower than the fourth quarter of 2019, reflecting normal wet season conditions and maintenance activity at Gove.

 

Production from CBG in Guinea was 21% higher than the first quarter of 2019 reflecting good progress on the ramp-up of the expansion. O n 27 March, CBG successfully passed its 90-day completion test for the expansion to 18.5 million tonnes per year.

 

We shipped 9.5 million tonnes of bauxite to third parties in the first quarter, 7% higher than same period of 2019.

 

Alumina

Alumina production in the first quarter of 2020 was in line with the corresponding period of 2019.

 

Aluminium

First quarter aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes was 2% lower than the first quarter of 2019, primarily due to lower production at the ISAL and Kitimat smelters, partly offset by the ramp-up of the non-managed Becancour smelter back to 84% of capacity following a lock-out in 2019. Further ramp-up is currently on hold due to Covid-19.

 

We continue to operate the ISAL smelter at 85% capacity in line with our value over volume strategy, and Kitimat production was lower as it progresses through its first pot relining cycle which has been impacted by earlier than planned pot-lining replacement . Our Quebec managed smelters performed well, with aluminium production for the first quarter 2% higher than the same period in 2019, reflecting ongoing productivity improvement.

 

The aluminium industry continues to face challenging conditions in global markets and policy uncertainty, exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19, with global inventory levels rising from 2.2 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes. We continue to actively work on enhancing the competitiveness of our smelters, including discussing energy pricing with stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of our smelters in Australasia and in Iceland.  

 

We announced strategic reviews of our interests in the Tiwai Point smelter in New Zealand in October 2019 and in the ISAL smelter in Iceland in February 2020. Work on these reviews is ongoing. This will determine the viability and competitive position of these operations and will consider all options, including curtailment and closure.

 

 

 

COPPER & DIAMONDS

 

Rio Tinto share of production ('000 tonnes)


Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Mined copper




Rio Tinto Kennecott

35.0

-33%

-1%

Escondida

86.2

+13%

-7%

Oyu Tolgoi

11.8

-23%

+7%





Refined copper




Rio Tinto Kennecott

26.4

-11%

-49%

Escondida

20.9

+12%

+2%





Diamonds ('000 carats)




Argyle

2,578

-7%

-23%

Diavik

857

-15%

+2%

 

Rio Tinto Kennecott

Mined copper production was 33% lower than the same quarter in 2019, primarily due to pit sequencing, which contained lower copper ore grade material, partially offset by higher recovery rates. Copper grades were 33% lower in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same quarter of 2019. Grades will continue to be lower through 2020 before increasing from the first quarter of 2021, with the transition from east wall to south wall mining.

 

Refined copper was 11% lower than the same quarter in 2019, due to lower anode production driven by reduced concentrate delivery, rate limitation from supply chain impacts, and reduced online time for inspection and repair following the earthquake on 18 March.

 

Following the earthquake, damage to the flash converting furnace in the Kennecott smelter has been identified, resulting in a full furnace rebuild being required in 2020.

 

The smelter is scheduled for a 45-day planned maintenance shutdown due to commence in May.

 

Grades were higher in the first quarter for molybdenum, with concentrate production 171% higher than the same quarter in 2019.

 

Escondida

Mined copper production at Escondida was 13% higher than the same quarter of 2019 due to higher concentrator throughput, and a higher amount of material stacked at the sulphide leach pads.

Oyu Tolgoi

Mined copper production from the open pit was 23% lower than the same quarter of 2019 due to decreased head grade. Grades were 26% lower than the same quarter in 2019 due to sequencing and blending of low-grade stockpiles. First quarter sales have been affected by slower collections of product from the warehouse by customers due to curtailed operations in China during peak Covid-19 restrictions.

Diamonds

At Argyle, carat production was 23% lower than last quarter. Full year production guidance remains unaffected.

At Diavik, carats recovered in first quarter 2020 were 2% higher than last quarter due to higher processed tonnes, largely offset by lower recovered grade from the mine.

The diamond industry continues to face challenging conditions across key markets exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19. In particular, there has been a demand slump due to a retail shutdown during peak season, as well as lower rough diamond demand from people movement restrictions in India.

 

ENERGY & MINERALS

 

Rio Tinto share of production


Q1 2020

vs Q1 2019

vs Q4 2019

Iron ore pellets and concentrate (million tonnes)




IOC

2.6

+3%

0%





Minerals ('000 tonnes)




Borates - B2O3 content

126

+10%

-2%

Titanium dioxide slag

293

-1%

+3%





Uranium ('000 lbs)




Energy Resources of Australia

676

-15%

+5%

 

 

Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

Iron ore pellets and concentrate production was in line with the last quarter and 3% higher than the first quarter of 2019, due to improved concentrator feed. IOC achieved first quarter records including total material moved and total shipments as a result of increased focus on asset optimisation.

 

We have changed our product mix at IOC to focus on the production of concentrates in order to match market demand.

 

The Ministry of Natural Resources of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has granted renewals of all mining leases and tailing licenses needed for IOC to operate for an additional 30 years. 

 

Borates

Borates production was slightly below the previous quarter and aligned with market conditions. We will continue to base any decision to adjust refinery utilisation rates to match market demand.

 

Iron and Titanium

Titanium dioxide feedstock production was 3% higher than last quarter, due to community disruptions that resulted in a site wide shutdown at RBM in December 2019. Furnaces at RBM are currently operating at reduced power levels as a result of Covid-19 government restrictions.

 

We have temporarily suspended production at the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metal powder plant in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec due to the slowdown in demand from the automotive industry.

 

Uranium

In late 2019, we announced our support for Energy Resources of Australia's (ERA) plans for a renounceable entitlement offer to raise $324 million for the rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area in the Northern Territory, Australia. Following completion of the rights issue, we now hold 86% in ERA, up from 68%.

 

ERA continues to process existing stockpiles. Production was 5% higher than last quarter due to Rio Tinto's increased ownership from 1 March 2020.

 

 

EXPLORATION AND EVALUATION

 

Pre-tax and pre-divestment expenditure on exploration and evaluation charged to the profit and loss account in the first quarter of 2020 was $144 million, compared with $124 million in the first quarter of 2019. Approximately 54% of this expenditure was incurred by central exploration, 32% by Copper & Diamonds, 11% by Energy & Minerals and 3% by Iron Ore and Aluminium.

 

Exploration activities are likely to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions including the ability to move people and gain access to sites. A further update will be provided in July.

 

There were no significant divestments of central exploration properties in the first quarter of 2020.

 

Exploration highlights

Rio Tinto has a strong portfolio of projects with activity in 17 countries across seven commodities.

A summary of activity for the quarter is as follows:

 

Commodities

Studies Stage

Advanced

projects

Greenfield/ Brownfield

programmes

Bauxite

Cape York, Australia

Amargosa, Brazil*; Sanxai, Laos*

Cape York, Australia

Base Metals

Copper/molybdenum: Resolution, US;

Winu, Australia

La Granja, Peru

Nickel: Tamarack, US (3rd party operated)

 

Copper Greenfield: Australia, Chile, China, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Serbia, US, Zambia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia

Copper Brownfield, Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia

Nickel Greenfield: Canada, Uganda, Finland

 

Diamonds

Falcon, Canada


Greenfield: Canada

Brownfield: Diavik, Canada

Minerals

Lithium borates: Jadar, Serbia

Heavy mineral sands: Mutamba, Mozambique (3rd party operated)


Heavy mineral sands: Tanzania

Industrial Minerals: Serbia

Industrial minerals brownfield: Boron, US

Iron Ore

Pilbara, Australia

Pilbara, Australia

Brownfield: Pilbara, Australia

 

*   limited activity during the quarter

 

 

Forward-looking statements

 

This announcement may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's production forecast or guidance, financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. The words "intend", "aim", "project", "anticipate", "estimate", "plan", "believes", "expects", "may", "should", "will", "target", "set to", "assumes" or similar expressions, commonly identify such forward looking statements.

 

Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual production, performance or results of Rio Tinto to be materially different from any future production, performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements could be influenced by such risk factors as identified in Rio Tinto's most recent Annual Report and Accounts in Australia and the United Kingdom and the most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to, or filed with, the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

 

Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share. 

 

 

Contacts

 

[email protected]  

riotinto.com  

 

  Follow @RioTinto on Twitter

 

 

Media Relations, United Kingdom

Illtud Harri

M +44 7920 503 600

 

David Outhwaite

T +44 20 7781 1623

M +44 7787 597 493

 

Media Relations, Americas

Matthew Klar

T +1 514 608 4429

 

Media Relations, Asia

Grant Donald

T +65 6679 9290

M +65 9722 6028

 

Media Relations, Australia

Jonathan Rose

T +61 3 9283 3088

M +61 447 028 913

 

Matt Chambers

T +61 3 9283 3087

M +61 433 525 739

 

Jesse Riseborough

T +61 8 6211 6013

M +61 436 653 412

 

Investor Relations, United Kingdom

Menno Sanderse
T +44 20 7781 1517
M +44 7825 195 178

 

David Ovington

T +44 20 7781 2051

M +44 7920 010 978

 

 

Investor Relations, Australia

Natalie Worley

T +61 3 9283 3063

M +61 409 210 462

 

Amar Jambaa

T +61 3 9283 3627
M +61 472 865 948

 

Group Company Secretary

Steve Allen

Rio Tinto plc

6 St James's Square

London SW1Y 4AD

United Kingdom

T +44 20 7781 2000

Registered in England

No. 719885

 

Joint Company Secretary

Tim Paine

Rio Tinto Limited

Level 7, 360 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000

Australia

T +61 3 9283 3333

Registered in Australia

ABN 96 004 458 404




This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto's Group Company Secretary.

 

 

 

 

LEI: 213800YOEO5OQ72G2R82

Classification: 3.1 Additional regulated information required to be disclosed under the laws of a Member State

 

Rio Tinto production summary











Rio Tinto share of production













Quarter


Full Year


% Change



2019
Q1

2019
Q4

2020
Q1


2019
 


Q1 20
vs
Q1 19

Q1 20
vs
Q4 19

Principal Commodities









Alumina

('000 t)

2,008

2,032

2,010


7,744


0%

-1%

Aluminium

('000 t)

796

783

783


3,171


-2%

0%

Bauxite

('000 t)

12,763

15,137

13,813


55,105


8%

-9%

Borates

('000 t)

115

128

126


520


10%

-2%

Copper - mined

('000 t)

143.9

138.7

133.0


577.4


-8%

-4%

Copper - refined

('000 t)

48.3

71.9

47.2


259.6


-2%

-34%

Diamonds

('000 cts)

3,796

4,203

3,434


17,030


-10%

-18%

Iron Ore

('000 t)

66,581

71,352

66,787


281,192


0%

-6%

Titanium dioxide slag

('000 t)

296

286

293


1,206


-1%

3%

Uranium

('000 lbs)

793

642

676


2,640


-15%

5%

Other Metals & Minerals









Gold - mined

('000 oz)

115.4

75.0

61.5


389.7


-47%

-18%

Gold - refined

('000 oz)

41.7

63.3

44.8


218.7


7%

-29%

Molybdenum

('000 t)

1.9

4.7

5.1


11.2


171%

9%

Salt

('000 t)

1,310

1,450

1,044


5,422


-20%

-28%

Silver - mined

('000 oz)

1,481

1,209

1,027


5,412


-31%

-15%

Silver - refined

('000 oz)

617

839

462


2,853


-25%

-45%











Throughout this report, figures in italics indicate adjustments made since the figure was previously quoted on the equivalent page or reported for the first time. Production figures are sometimes more precise than the rounded numbers shown, hence small differences may result between the total of the quarter figures and the year to date figures.

 

 

Rio Tinto share of production










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









ALUMINA








Production ('000 tonnes)








Jonquière (Vaudreuil)

100%

373

336

360

345

373

1,413

Jonquière (Vaudreuil) specialty Alumina plant

100%

25

31

28

24

24

109

Queensland Alumina

80%

711

668

669

716

713

2,763

São Luis (Alumar)

10%

86

86

99

97

94

368

Yarwun

100%

813

757

671

850

806

3,091

Rio Tinto total alumina production


2,008

1,878

1,826

2,032

2,010

7,744









ALUMINIUM








Production ('000 tonnes)








Australia - Bell Bay

100%

45

47

48

48

47

189

Australia - Boyne Island

59%

73

75

75

74

75

296

Australia - Tomago

52%

74

76

77

76

75

303

Canada - six wholly owned

100%

400

400

399

383

375

1,582

Canada - Alouette (Sept-Îles)

40%

58

60

61

62

61

241

Canada - Bécancour

25%

4

4

4

7

18

19

Iceland - ISAL (Reykjavik)

100%

52

52

36

43

45

184

New Zealand - Tiwai Point

79%

71

69

70

69

67

279

Oman - Sohar

20%

19

19

20

20

20

78

Rio Tinto total aluminium production


796

803

789

783

783

3,171










BAUXITE








Production ('000 tonnes) (a)








Gove

100%

3,004

2,957

2,968

3,273

2,876

12,201

Porto Trombetas

12%

285

287

385

371

338

1,327

Sangaredi

  (b)

1,558

1,630

1,749

1,227

1,879

6,165

Weipa

100%

7,917

8,533

8,695

10,267

8,720

35,411

Rio Tinto total bauxite production

12,763

13,407

13,796

15,137

13,813

55,105

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.

(b) Rio Tinto has a 22.95% shareholding in the Sangaredi mine but benefits from 45.0% of production.

 

Rio Tinto share of production










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









BORATES








Production ('000 tonnes B2O3 content)








Rio Tinto Borates - borates

100%

115

138

138

128

126

520









COPPER








Mine production ('000 tonnes) (a)








Bingham Canyon

100%

52.5

41.1

57.8

35.4

35.0

186.8

Escondida

30%

76.0

82.7

90.5

92.3

86.2

341.6

Oyu Tolgoi (b)

34%

15.4

13.1

9.5

11.0

11.8

49.1

Rio Tinto total mine production


143.9

136.9

157.9

138.7

133.0

577.4

Refined production ('000 tonnes)







Escondida

30%

18.7

19.0

16.8

20.5

20.9

75.0

Rio Tinto Kennecott

100%

29.6

63.3

40.3

51.4

26.4

184.6

Rio Tinto total refined production

48.3

82.3

57.1

71.9

47.2

259.6

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.

(b) Rio Tinto owns a 33.52% indirect interest in Oyu Tolgoi through its 50.79% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.









DIAMONDS








Production ('000 carats)








Argyle

100%

2,786

3,292

3,558

3,363

2,578

12,999

Diavik

60%

1,010

1,188

994

840

857

4,031

Rio Tinto total diamond production


3,796

4,481

4,551

4,203

3,434

17,030









GOLD








Mine production ('000 ounces) (a)








Bingham Canyon

100%

53.0

65.1

64.6

52.0

41.9

234.7

Escondida

30%

22.2

22.4

14.6

14.8

10.8

74.0

Oyu Tolgoi (b)

34%

40.2

24.1

8.6

8.2

8.8

81.1

Rio Tinto total mine production


115.4

111.6

87.8

75.0

61.5

389.7

Refined production ('000 ounces)







Rio Tinto Kennecott

100%

41.7

52.9

60.8

63.3

44.8

218.7

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.

(b) Rio Tinto owns a 33.52% indirect interest in Oyu Tolgoi through its 50.79% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.

 

Rio Tinto share of production










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









IRON ORE








Production ('000 tonnes) (a)







Hamersley mines

  (b)

51,218

50,087

55,567

52,521

49,327

209,392

Hamersley - Channar

60%

931

1,451

947

1,452

1,160

4,782

Hope Downs

50%

5,957

6,051

6,077

6,047

5,667

24,132

Iron Ore Company of Canada

59%

2,481

2,532

2,960

2,564

2,560

10,536

Robe River - Pannawonica (Mesas J and A)

53%

1,870

3,329

4,725

4,360

3,880

14,284

Robe River - West Angelas

53%

4,125

4,692

4,840

4,409

4,193

18,066

Rio Tinto iron ore production ('000 tonnes)


66,581

68,141

75,117

71,352

66,787

281,192

Breakdown of Production:








Pilbara Blend and SP10 Lump (c)


19,978

19,842

21,015

19,930

18,504

80,766

Pilbara Blend and SP10 Fines (c)


28,779

28,463

31,713

30,304

27,734

119,260

Robe Valley Lump


635

1,201

1,650

1,574

1,472

5,060

Robe Valley Fines


1,235

2,128

3,075

2,786

2,407

9,224

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


13,473

13,975

14,704

14,194

14,110

56,346

Pilbara iron ore production ('000 tonnes)


64,101

65,610

72,156

68,788

64,227

270,655

IOC Concentrate


890

1,193

1,400

1,146

923

4,629

IOC Pellets


1,590

1,339

1,560

1,418

1,637

5,908

IOC iron ore production ('000 tonnes)


2,481

2,532

2,960

2,564

2,560

10,536

Breakdown of Shipments:








Pilbara Blend Lump (d)


15,772

18,009

15,948

16,176

14,385

65,906

Pilbara Blend Fines (d)


26,864

32,165

30,032

31,182

26,692

120,243

Robe Valley Lump


457

1,037

1,290

1,246

1,132

4,030

Robe Valley Fines


1,308

2,577

3,349

3,259

2,688

10,493

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


12,294

15,212

14,286

15,260

12,913

57,052

SP10 Lump (c)


0

635

2,685

2,072

1,006

5,391

SP10 Fines (c)


1,542

1,747

4,057

2,081

1,089

9,427

Pilbara iron ore shipments ('000 tonnes)


58,236

71,382

71,646

71,277

59,903

272,540

IOC Iron ore shipments ('000 tonnes)


2,092

2,738

2,654

2,636

2,775

10,120

Rio Tinto iron ore shipments ('000 tonnes)

60,328

74,119

74,300

73,913

62,678

282,660

Breakdown of Sales:








Pilbara Blend Lump (d)


15,772

18,009

15,948

16,176

14,385

65,906

Pilbara Blend Fines (d)


26,864

32,165

30,032

31,182

26,692

120,243

Robe Valley Lump


457

1,037

1,290

1,246

1,132

4,030

Robe Valley Fines


1,308

2,577

3,349

3,259

2,688

10,493

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


12,294

15,212

14,286

15,260

12,913

57,052

SP10 Lump (c)


0

635

2,611

1,733

907

4,979

SP10 Fines (c)


1,542

1,747

3,962

1,185

1,104

8,437

Pilbara iron ore sales ('000 tonnes) (e)


58,236

71,382

71,478

70,043

59,820

271,139

Pilbara iron ore sales - consolidated basis ('000 tonnes) (e) (f)


59,541

73,230

73,619

72,166

61,645

278,557

IOC Concentrate


516

1,315

1,425

1,223

1,006

4,479

IOC Pellets


1,576

1,423

1,229

1,413

1,769

5,641

IOC Iron ore sales ('000 tonnes)


2,092

2,738

2,654

2,636

2,775

10,120

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.

(b) Includes 100% of production from Paraburdoo, Mt Tom Price, Marandoo, Yandicoogina, Brockman, Nammuldi, Silvergrass and the Eastern Range mines. Whilst Rio Tinto owns 54% of the Eastern Range mine, under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Hamersley Iron manages the operation and is obliged to purchase all mine production from the joint venture and therefore all of the production is included in Rio Tinto's share of production.
(c) SP10 include other lower grade products. SP10 fines sales also include IOC product that is further blended and sold at port in China.
(d) Restatement due to separately reporting SP10 lump and SP10 fines products that include other lower grade products.
(e) Differences between shipments and sales reflect tonnes held for portside trading and material purchased from IOC then further blended and sold at port in China.
(f) While Rio Tinto has a 53% net beneficial interest in Robe River Iron Associates, it recognises 65% of the assets, liabilities, sales revenues and expenses in its accounts (as 30% is held through a 60% owned subsidiary and 35% is held through a 100% owned subsidiary). The consolidated basis sales reported here include Robe River Iron Associates on a 65% basis to enable comparison with revenue reported in the financial statements.

 

Rio Tinto share of production










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









MOLYBDENUM








Mine production ('000 tonnes) (a)







Bingham Canyon

100%

1.9

2.6

2.1

4.7

5.1

11.2

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.









SALT








Production ('000 tonnes)








Dampier Salt

68%

1,310

1,269

1,392

1,450

1,044

5,422









SILVER








Mine production ('000 ounces) (a)







Bingham Canyon

100%

741

700

768

605

538

2,815

Escondida

30%

657

622

488

539

417

2,306

Oyu Tolgoi (b)

34%

83

80

64

64

72

290

Rio Tinto total mine production


1,481

1,403

1,320

1,209

1,027

5,412

Refined production ('000 ounces)







Rio Tinto Kennecott

100%

617

734

664

839

462

2,853

(a) Mine production figures for metals refer to the total quantity of metal produced in concentrates, leach liquor or doré bullion irrespective of whether these products are then refined onsite, except for the data for bauxite and iron ore which represent production of marketable quantities of ore plus concentrates and pellets.

(b) Rio Tinto owns a 33.52% indirect interest in Oyu Tolgoi through its 50.79% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.









TITANIUM DIOXIDE SLAG








Production ('000 tonnes)








Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium (a)

100%

296

303

321

286

293

1,206

(a) Quantities comprise 100% of Rio Tinto Fer et Titane and Rio Tinto's 74% interest in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).









URANIUM








Production ('000 lbs U3O8) (a)







Energy Resources of Australia

86%

793

620

585

642

676

2,640

(a) ERA production data are drummed U3O8.
On 25 February 2020, Rio Tinto increased its ownership interest in ERA from 68.39% to 86.33%, following completion of its offer to ensure ERA has the funds it needs to meet its current rehabilitation obligations. Production is reported including this change from 1 March 2020.









Production figures are sometimes more precise than the rounded numbers shown, hence small differences may result between the total of the quarter figures and the year to date figures.

The Rio Tinto percentage shown above is at 31 March 2020.









Rio Tinto's interest in the Rössing operations were sold in 2019. No data for these operations are included in the Share of production table.

 

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









ALUMINA








Smelter Grade Alumina - Aluminium Group







Alumina production ('000 tonnes)








Australia








Queensland Alumina Refinery - Queensland

80.0%

888

834

836

895

891

3,454

Yarwun refinery - Queensland

100.0%

813

757

671

850

806

3,091

Brazil








São Luis (Alumar) refinery

10.0%

859

864

989

966

936

3,679

Canada








Jonquière (Vaudreuil) refinery - Quebec (a)

100.0%

373

336

360

345

373

1,413

(a) Jonquière's (Vaudreuil's) production shows smelter grade alumina only and excludes hydrate produced and used for specialty alumina.

Speciality Alumina - Aluminium Group







Speciality alumina production ('000 tonnes)







Canada








Jonquière (Vaudreuil) plant - Quebec

100.0%

25

31

28

24

24

109

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









ALUMINIUM








Primary Aluminium








Primary aluminium production ('000 tonnes)







Australia








Bell Bay smelter - Tasmania

100.0%

45

47

48

48

47

189

Boyne Island smelter - Queensland

59.4%

122

126

125

125

126

499

Tomago smelter - New South Wales

51.6%

144

147

149

148

145

588

Canada








Alma smelter - Quebec

100.0%

115

118

119

119

118

472

Alouette (Sept-Îles) smelter - Quebec

40.0%

144

150

153

155

153

602

Arvida smelter - Quebec

100.0%

43

44

45

44

44

175

Arvida AP60 smelter - Quebec

100.0%

14

15

15

15

15

60

Bécancour smelter - Quebec

25.1%

17

16

16

28

72

77

Grande-Baie smelter - Quebec

100.0%

58

58

59

59

58

233

Kitimat smelter - British Columbia

100.0%

106

102

96

81

76

385

Laterrière smelter - Quebec

100.0%

64

64

65

65

64

257

Iceland








ISAL (Reykjavik) smelter

100.0%

52

52

36

43

45

184

New Zealand








Tiwai Point smelter

79.4%

89

87

88

87

84

351

Oman








Sohar smelter

20.0%

97

97

98

98

99

391


Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









BAUXITE








Bauxite production ('000 tonnes)








Australia








Gove mine - Northern Territory

100.0%

3,004

2,957

2,968

3,273

2,876

12,201

Weipa mine - Queensland

100.0%

7,917

8,533

8,695

10,267

8,720

35,411

Brazil








Porto Trombetas (MRN) mine

12.0%

2,372

2,393

3,205

3,090

2,814

11,060

Guinea








Sangaredi mine (a)

23.0%

3,463

3,623

3,887

2,727

4,175

13,701









Rio Tinto share of bauxite shipments







Share of total bauxite shipments ('000 tonnes)

12,725

13,122

13,912

14,849

13,567

54,607

Share of third party bauxite shipments ('000 tonnes)

8,842

9,477

10,361

10,968

9,469

39,648









(a) Rio Tinto has a 22.95% shareholding in the Sangaredi mine but benefits from 45.0% of production.









BORATES








Rio Tinto Borates - borates

100.0%







US








Borates ('000 tonnes) (a)


115

138

138

128

126

520

(a) Production is expressed as B2O3 content.









Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









COPPER & GOLD








Escondida

30.0%







Chile








Sulphide ore to concentrator ('000 tonnes)

32,027

32,519

33,956

33,659

33,440

132,161

Average copper grade (%)


0.82

0.86

0.86

0.87

0.82

0.85

Mill production (metals in concentrates):








Contained copper ('000 tonnes)


216.9

230.9

245.0

246.1

230.0

938.9

Contained gold ('000 ounces)


74

75

49

49

36

247

Contained silver ('000 ounces)


2,189

2,074

1,626

1,798

1,390

7,687

Recoverable copper in ore stacked for leaching ('000 tonnes) (a)

36.5

44.7

56.8

61.7

57.2

199.7

Refined production from leach plants:








Copper cathode production ('000 tonnes)


62.4

63.5

55.9

68.4

69.6

250.2

(a) The calculation of copper in material mined for leaching is based on ore stacked at the leach pad.

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









COPPER & GOLD (continued)








Rio Tinto Kennecott








Bingham Canyon mine

100.0%







Utah, US








Ore treated ('000 tonnes)


10,685

10,123

10,084

11,141

10,315

42,033

Average ore grade:








Copper (%)


0.55

0.46

0.64

0.36

0.37

0.50

Gold (g/t)


0.25

0.33

0.30

0.23

0.22

0.28

Silver (g/t)


2.76

2.84

2.74

2.09

2.16

2.60

Molybdenum (%)


0.032

0.039

0.039

0.061

0.058

0.043

Copper concentrates produced ('000 tonnes)

207

161

207

156

148

731

Average concentrate grade (% Cu)


25.3

25.5

27.8

22.6

23.7

25.5

Production of metals in copper concentrates:







Copper ('000 tonnes) (a)


52.5

41.1

57.8

35.4

35.0

186.8

Gold ('000 ounces)


53

65

65

52

42

235

Silver ('000 ounces)


741

700

768

605

538

2,815

Molybdenum concentrates produced ('000 tonnes):

3.8

5.0

4.3

9.4

10.4

22.4

Molybdenum in concentrates ('000 tonnes)


1.9

2.6

2.1

4.7

5.1

11.2


Kennecott smelter & refinery

100.0%







Copper concentrates smelted ('000 tonnes)

204

207

160

216

161

787

Copper anodes produced ('000 tonnes) (b)

33.3

60.3

39.3

53.7

24.0

186.6

Production of refined metal:








Copper ('000 tonnes)


29.6

63.3

40.3

51.4

26.4

184.6

Gold ('000 ounces) (c)


41.7

52.9

60.8

63.3

44.8

218.7

Silver ('000 ounces) (c)


617

734

664

839

462

2,853

(a) Includes a small amount of copper in precipitates.
(b) New metal excluding recycled material.
(c) Includes gold and silver in intermediate products.

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









COPPER & GOLD (continued)








Turquoise Hill Resources








Oyu Tolgoi mine (a)

33.5%







Mongolia








Ore Treated ('000 tonnes)


9,255

10,394

10,040

11,088

10,889

40,777

Average mill head grades:








Copper (%)


0.57

0.46

0.37

0.42

0.42

0.45

Gold (g/t)


0.58

0.31

0.14

0.15

0.15

0.29

Silver (g/t)


1.25

1.20

1.03

1.06

1.14

1.13

Copper concentrates produced ('000 tonnes)

210.1

180.6

131.3

152.6

164.5

674.6

Average concentrate grade (% Cu)


21.8

21.7

21.7

21.6

21.4

21.7

Production of metals in concentrates:








Copper in concentrates ('000 tonnes)


45.8

39.2

28.4

32.9

35.2

146.3

Gold in concentrates ('000 ounces)


120.1

71.8

25.6

24.3

26.2

241.8

Silver in concentrates ('000 ounces)


247

239

191

190

214

867

Sales of metals in concentrates:








Copper in concentrates ('000 tonnes)


38.5

46.6

32.5

32.3

25.8

149.9

Gold in concentrates ('000 ounces)


98

116

35

25

20

274

Silver in concentrates ('000 ounces)


200

245

207

244

146

896

(a) Rio Tinto owns a 33.52% indirect interest in Oyu Tolgoi through its 50.79% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources.









DIAMONDS








Argyle Diamonds

100.0%







Western Australia








AK1 ore processed ('000 tonnes)


1,248

1,427

1,716

1,977

1,322

6,367

AK1 diamonds produced ('000 carats)


2,786

3,292

3,558

3,363

2,578

12,999

Diavik Diamonds

60.0%







Northwest Territories, Canada








Ore processed ('000 tonnes)


620

671

628

516

571

2,435

Diamonds recovered ('000 carats)


1,683

1,980

1,656

1,400

1,428

6,719


Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









IRON ORE








Rio Tinto Iron Ore








Western Australia








Pilbara Operations








Saleable iron ore production ('000 tonnes)







Hamersley mines

  (a)

51,218

50,087

55,567

52,521

49,327

209,392

Hamersley - Channar

60.0%

1,552

2,419

1,579

2,420

1,934

7,970

Hope Downs

50.0%

11,913

12,101

12,155

12,095

11,334

48,264

Robe River - Pannawonica (Mesas J and A)

53.0%

3,529

6,282

8,914

8,225

7,320

26,951

Robe River - West Angelas

53.0%

7,783

8,853

9,133

8,318

7,912

34,086

Total production ('000 tonnes)


75,995

79,741

87,347

83,579

77,827

326,663

Breakdown of total production:








Pilbara Blend and SP10 Lump (b)


24,068

24,291

25,434

24,326

22,592

98,119

Pilbara Blend and SP10 Fines (b)


34,924

35,194

38,296

36,833

33,806

145,247

Robe Valley Lump


1,198

2,266

3,113

2,969

2,778

9,547

Robe Valley Fines


2,331

4,015

5,802

5,256

4,542

17,404

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


13,473

13,975

14,704

14,194

14,110

56,346

Breakdown of total shipments:








Pilbara Blend Lump (c)


18,968

21,653

19,329

19,680

17,506

79,630

Pilbara Blend Fines (c)


33,016

39,358

36,947

39,186

33,197

148,508

Robe Valley Lump


863

1,957

2,433

2,350

2,135

7,603

Robe Valley Fines


2,468

4,862

6,318

6,149

5,071

19,797

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


12,294

15,212

14,286

15,260

12,913

57,052

SP10 Lump (b)


0

635

2,685

2,072

1,006

5,391

SP10 Fines (b)


1,542

1,747

4,057

2,081

1,089

9,427

Total shipments ('000 tonnes) (d)


69,150

85,423

86,055

86,779

72,916

327,408

Breakdown of total sales:








Pilbara Blend Lump (c)


18,968

21,653

19,329

19,680

17,506

79,630

Pilbara Blend Fines (c)


33,016

39,358

36,947

39,186

33,197

148,508

Robe Valley Lump


863

1,957

2,433

2,350

2,135

7,603

Robe Valley Fines


2,468

4,862

6,318

6,149

5,071

19,797

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)


12,294

15,212

14,286

15,260

12,913

57,052

SP10 Lump (b)


0

635

2,611

1,733

907

4,979

SP10 Fines (b)


1,542

1,747

3,962

1,185

1,104

8,437

Total sales ('000 tonnes)


69,150

85,423

85,888

85,545

72,833

326,006

(a) Includes 100% of production from Paraburdoo, Mt Tom Price, Marandoo, Yandicoogina, Brockman, Nammuldi, Silvergrass and the Eastern Range mines. Whilst Rio Tinto owns 54% of the Eastern Range mine, under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Hamersley Iron manages the operation and is obliged to purchase all mine production from the joint venture and therefore all of the production is included in Rio Tinto's share of production.
(b) SP10 include other lower grade products. SP10 fines sales also include IOC product that is further blended and sold at port in China.
(c) Restatement due to separately reporting SP10 lump and SP10 fines products that include other lower grade products.
(d) Shipments represent iron ore exported from Western Australian ports: a portion of this material is shipped for portside trading to be further blended and subsequently sold.

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 

Rio Tinto operational data










Rio Tinto
interest

Q1
2019

Q2
2019

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Full Year
2019









IRON ORE (continued)








Iron Ore Company of Canada

58.7%







Newfoundland & Labrador and Quebec in Canada







Saleable iron ore production:








Concentrates ('000 tonnes)


1,516

2,031

2,384

1,951

1,572

7,883

Pellets ('000 tonnes)


2,709

2,280

2,657

2,415

2,788

10,061

IOC Total production ('000 tonnes)


4,225

4,311

5,041

4,366

4,360

17,943

Shipments:







Concentrates ('000 tonnes)


878

2,239

2,427

2,083

7,628

Pellets ('000 tonnes)


2,684

2,424

2,093

2,406

3,013

9,607

IOC Total Shipments ('000 tonnes)


3,562

4,663

4,520

4,490

17,235

IOC Total Sales ('000 tonnes)


3,562

4,663

4,520

4,490

17,235

Global Iron Ore Totals








Iron Ore Production ('000 tonnes)


80,219

84,052

92,389

87,945

344,606

Iron Ore Shipments ('000 tonnes)


72,712

90,085

90,576

91,269

77,642

344,642









SALT








Dampier Salt

68.4%







Western Australia








Salt production ('000 tonnes)


1,917

1,856

2,036

2,121

1,527

7,931









TITANIUM DIOXIDE SLAG








Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium

100.0%







Canada and South Africa








(Rio Tinto share) (a)








Titanium dioxide slag ('000 tonnes)


296

303

321

286

293

1,206









(a) Quantities comprise 100% of Rio Tinto Fer et Titane and Rio Tinto's 74% interest in Richards Bay Minerals' production. Ilmenite mined in Madagascar is being processed in Canada.









URANIUM








Energy Resources of Australia Ltd








Ranger mine (a)

86.3%







Northern Territory, Australia








U3O8 Production ('000 lbs)


1,160

906

855

939

928

3,860

(a) ERA production data are drummed U3O8.
On 25 February 2020, Rio Tinto increased its ownership interest in ERA from 68.39% to 86.33%, following completion of its offer to ensure ERA has the funds it needs to meet its current rehabilitation obligations. Production is reported including this change from 1 March 2020.

 

Rössing Uranium Ltd (a) (b)

0.0%







Namibia








U3O8 Production ('000 lbs)


1,168

1,665

247

   -

  -

3,080

(a) Rössing production data are drummed U3O8.
(b) On 16 July 2019, Rio Tinto completed the sale of its entire 68.62% interest in the Rossing mine in Namibia to China National Uranium Corporation Limited. Production is reported up to the date of completion.

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

 


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