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Rio Tinto PLC Third quarter production results

16/10/2020 7:00am

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Rio Tinto PLC

16 October 2020

Rio Tinto releases third quarter production results

16 October 2020

Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques said "We have delivered a good operational performance across most of our assets catching up on planned maintenance activity, particularly in iron ore, and continuing to adapt to new operating conditions as we learn to live with COVID-19. We have maintained our capex guidance and our 2020 production guidance across our key products.

"We are focused on regaining the trust of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people (PKKP) with a focus on remedy. On Tuesday 13 October we wrote a letter to Traditional Owners in the Pilbara detailing that we will review all heritage disturbance in consultation with them; and shared our intention to modernise our agreements which includes modifying clauses to ensure respect, transparency and mutual benefit.

"Rio Tinto has shown great resilience through challenging conditions and will continue to prioritise the health and safety of our employees, contractors and communities. The quality of our assets, coupled with our strong focus on capital discipline and value over volume approach, mean we can continue to invest in our business, support our communities, pay taxes and royalties to host governments and continue to generate superior returns to shareholders in the short, medium and long term."

 
                                       Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Production*                          2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
                              --- 
Pilbara iron ore shipments 
 (100% basis)                 Mt     82.1    -5%       -5%       241.7       0% 
Pilbara iron ore production 
 (100% basis)                 Mt     86.4    -1%       +4%       247.4      +2% 
Bauxite                       Mt     14.5    +5%       -1%        42.8      +7% 
Aluminium                     kt      797    +1%       +2%       2,365      -1% 
Mined Copper                  kt    129.6   -18%       -2%       395.4     -10% 
Titanium dioxide slag         kt      293    -9%      +12%         848      -8% 
IOC iron ore pellets and 
 concentrate                  Mt      2.3   -21%      -15%         7.7      -4% 
----------------------------  ---  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
 

*Rio Tinto share unless otherwise stated

Q3 Operational update

-- Our All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) of 0.35 has improved through 2020 versus 2019 (0.42). We have successfully adapted our assets and offices to the new operating conditions associated with COVID-19 and we continue to closely manage this risk to protect our people and communities.

-- Pilbara operations are returning to more normal operating conditions with rosters back to pre-COVID-19 settings although controls to protect our employees, contractors and communities remain in place. Total material moved was a record for the quarter with Pilbara iron ore production of 86.4 million tonnes (100% basis), 1% lower than the third quarter of 2019. A recovery in planned maintenance activity in the port led to 5% lower shipments.

-- Bauxite production of 14.5 million tonnes, 5% higher than the third quarter of 2019, with increased year on year production across all sites, including record quarterly production at the non-managed CBG joint venture in Guinea.

-- Aluminium production of 0.8 million tonnes in the third quarter was 1% higher than the third quarter of 2019 with stable operations across our smelter portfolio.

-- Third quarter mined copper was 18% lower than the same period of 2019 due to lower grade at Kennecott as a result of pit sequencing to accommodate the extended smelter shutdown. Refined copper was 57% lower, primarily due to delays in restarting the Kennecott smelter.

-- On 19 August, we announced an update to our refined copper guidance following delays to the restart of the smelter at Kennecott due to unexpected issues following planned maintenance. The safe start-up of the smelter has commenced and consistent with the announcement, we expect that it will be fully operational during October. 2020 guidance for refined copper remains at 135 to 175 thousand tonnes.

-- On 28 August, we noted Turquoise Hill Resources' (TRQ) publication of its '2020 Oyu Tolgoi Technical Report' (2020 OTTR) in relation to the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project in Mongolia. All estimates are subject to potential changes once the definitive estimate is complete, which is still expected later in 2020. Preliminary indications from the definitive estimate process are that first sustainable production is trending towards the earlier months of the October 2022 to June 2023 range. The estimated development capital cost remains within the range of $6.6 to $7.1 billion, and has now been updated to include known impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information can be found in the Investments, growth and development projects section below.

-- On 10 September, we announced we had entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TRQ, that provides a pathway to progress the financing for completion of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project in Mongolia and address TRQ's funding position.

-- Titanium dioxide slag production of 293 thousand tonnes was 9% lower than the third quarter of 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec and South Africa and lower market demand.

-- Production of pellets and concentrate at Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) was 21% lower than the same period of 2019 due to an annual maintenance shutdown deferred from June to September as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions. A weather related power failure and mechanical issues also impacted production in the third quarter.

 
 
      Cultural heritage 
 
       We have taken a number of actions to strengthen cultural heritage 
       governance and controls, and commenced the longer term process 
       of regaining the trust of Traditional Owners. 
 
       On 13 October we wrote a letter to Traditional Owners in the 
       Pilbara detailing that we will review all heritage disturbance 
       in consultation with them; and shared our intention to modernise 
       our agreements which includes modifying clauses to ensure respect, 
       transparency and mutual benefit. Specifically, our high level 
       principles include: 
        *    Reassessing all activities which have the potential 
             to impact heritage sites, with an immediate focus on 
             those sites that could be impacted over the next 18 
             to 24 months. 
 
 
        *    Not enforcing any clauses that restrict Traditional 
             Owners from raising concerns about cultural heritage 
             matters with anyone, or any clauses that restrict 
             Traditional Owners from applying for statutory 
             protection of any cultural heritage sites. 
 
 
        *    Introducing mechanisms into our agreements to respond 
             better to new information that may emerge about 
             cultural heritage sites, including those affected by 
             section 18 approvals. We will seek to agree an 
             appropriate mechanism in our revised agreements so 
             that there is a clear path for resolution of any 
             differences of view that may emerge. 
 
 
        *    Improving transparency of any revised agreement and 
             more impactful realisation of economic and social 
             benefits. 
 
 
 
       Other actions include: 
        *    We continue active engagement with the PKKP and have 
             agreed a meeting between the Rio Tinto board and the 
             PKKP before the end of the year. 
 
 
        *    We have instituted an enhanced level of governance 
             over the impact on sites of heritage significance. 
             All approvals to disturb sites directly or indirectly 
             are being made on a risk-managed basis at Rio Tinto 
             Iron Ore Chief Executive level; referrals of 
             decisions as appropriate will be directed to the 
             recently established Heritage Sub-Committee of the 
             Rio Tinto Executive Committee, and if necessary, to 
             the Board. 
 
 
        *    We have established the Communities and Social 
             Performance Area of Expertise, which is aligned with 
             the existing Health, Safety, Environment (HSE) 
             function, reporting to Mark Davies, Group Executive 
             Safety, Technical and Projects and a member of the 
             Executive Committee. 
 
 
        *    We have appointed a Chief Advisor - Indigenous 
             Affairs who has a direct reporting line to the Chief 
             Executive. 
 
 
        *    We have made a firm commitment to increase employment 
             opportunities for Australian Indigenous Peoples in 
             our business, and a $50 million investment to advance 
             Indigenous leadership in our Australian business. 
 
 
        *    We continue to contribute to the reform of the 
             Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA). We support an 
             appeal right in the Western Australian government's 
             section 18 review process to give a greater voice to 
             Traditional Owners in the decision-making in relation 
             to mining on their land. 
 
 
 
       Documents related to Juukan Gorge and additional information 
       on our approach to communities and heritage can be found on 
       our website : 
        *    On 4 August, we published our submission to the 
             Parliamentary Inquiry on Juukan Gorge. 
 
 
        *    On 24 August, we published a Board review of cultural 
             heritage management, detailing what elements of our 
             systems, decision-making processes and governance 
             failed to work, along with recommendations for 
             change. 
 
 
        *    On 4 September, we provided additional information 
             related to questions taken on notice following our 
             appearance at the Joint Standing Committee on 
             Northern Australia. 
 
 
 
       On 11 September, we announced changes to our Executive Committee 
       following a period of extensive stakeholder engagement by the 
       Board. By mutual agreement, J-S Jacques will step down from 
       his role as an executive director and Chief Executive, Chris 
       Salisbury will step down as Chief Executive, Iron Ore and Simone 
       Niven will step down as Group Executive, Corporate Relations. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our markets

Global economic activity in the third quarter was generally strong, helping to sustain optimism for a widespread recovery in 2021. However, recent high-frequency data suggests that the rate of recovery in growth is slowing in most economies, with pent-up demand dissipating, and the rise of renewed lockdowns threatening recovery.

   --       Commodity demand in China has been supported by commodity-intensive stimulus measures. 

-- Chinese iron ore demand is at record levels against a backdrop of recovering seaborne supply that was disrupted earlier in the year. However, with the major producers expected to deliver strong volumes in the fourth quarter, iron ore inventories are expected to grow modestly as China's steel consumption eases from record highs and scrap consumption increases. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Europe continue to show signs of recovery: however, ex-China steel production remains down significantly year on year.

-- The automotive sector is continuing to see recovery, supporting some demand for Value-Added aluminium products (VAP), but remains below pre-COVID-19 levels globally.

-- Copper prices reached a two year high with strong Chinese consumption supporting cathode imports. COVID-19 related supply disruptions remain 4% of annual copper supply, in addition to normal industry supply disruptions.

Product stewardship

-- Our Kennecott operation in the US was the first producer globally to be awarded the 'Copper Mark' and Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia subsequently qualified. The Copper Mark is the industry's new independently assessed responsible production programme.

-- We have partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world's largest brewer, to deliver a new standard of sustainable aluminium cans. Initially focused in North America, the partnership will see AB InBev use our low-carbon aluminium made with renewable hydropower, along with recycled content, to produce a more sustainable beer can.

-- At our Boron operation in California, a demonstration plant producing lithium carbonate from a waste stream was commissioned. Optimisation of the plant will continue ahead of potential expansion of the project to support commercial production.

 
 
      COVID-19 
 
       COVID-19 continues to present additional challenges which are 
       being proactively managed by our dedicated Business Resilience 
       Teams, as our workforce embeds the changes in the way we operate 
       and learns to co-exist with the virus. We have maintained strict 
       protocols globally and we closely monitor the situation, including 
       the potential threat of a second wave. COVID-19 also continues 
       to pose a risk to the communities who host our operations and 
       we are working closely with them to manage these risks. 
 
        *    We continue to support global community COVID-19 
             preparedness and recovery initiatives including: 
             donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 
             local health authorities and social services, 
             providing alternative housing support to vulnerable 
             members of the community, upgrading infrastructure to 
             enable dedicated treatment centres and funding other 
             local response initiatives. 
 
 
        *    While rosters in our Australian iron ore operations 
             have returned to normal, airport and site screening 
             continues with more than 177,000 COVID-19 checks 
             conducted year to date. 
 
 
        *    Flexible work arrangements have been made available 
             to employees and their families in areas where 
             schools and day care centres are closed and 
             mitigations have been put in place to protect our 
             vulnerable employee base. 
 
 
        *    At Oyu Tolgoi, we worked with the Governments of 
             Mongolia and Australia to manage more than 40 
             returning expatriates in quarantine for over 35 days. 
             The second flight landed in early October with 
             further charters planned. 
 
 
        *    We are also actively managing the risks to seafarers 
             from restrictions on crew changeovers due to COVID-19 
             measures in place in various countries. We are 
             working with industry and regulators to ensure a 
             practical response, with a focus on crew welfare. 
 
 
 
       Full details of initiatives taken to date can be found on our 
       website . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Production guidance

 
Rio Tinto share, unless                      2020 Sept 
 otherwise stated              2019 Actuals     YTD         2020 
Pilbara iron ore (shipments, 
 100% basis) (Mt)                  327          242      324 to 334 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Bauxite (Mt)                        55          43        55 to 58 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Alumina (Mt)                       7.7          6.0      7.8 to 8.2 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Aluminium (Mt)                     3.2          2.4      3.1 to 3.3 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Mined copper (kt)                  577          395      475 to 520 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Refined copper (kt)                260          99       135 to 175 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Diamonds (M carats)                 17          12        12 to 14 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Titanium dioxide slag 
 (Mt)                              1.2          0.8         1.2 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
IOC iron ore pellets 
 and concentrate (Mt)              10.5         7.7     10.5 to 12.0 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
Boric oxide equivalent 
 (Mt)                              0.5          0.4         0.5 
-----------------------------  ------------  ---------  ------------ 
 

-- Production guidance remains unchanged from the Second Quarter Operations Review, with the exception of refined copper, which was updated on 19 August, and titanium dioxide slag, which is now expected to be around 1.2 million tonnes (previously the low end of 1.2 to 1.4 million tonnes).

-- Future potential operational and mine development impacts from the reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) and changes to our Heritage approach remain unknown at this point in time. We are consulting with Traditional Owners and are working through scenarios with a broad range of options available given the flexibility in our Pilbara network.

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

Operating costs

-- Pilbara iron ore 2020 unit cost guidance is unchanged at $14 to $15 per tonne, including unplanned one-off COVID-19 costs of $0.50 per tonne with cost continuing in the second half relating to controls such as cleaning and screening. The guidance is based on an Australian dollar exchange rate of $0.67.

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

Investments, growth and development projects

-- Project teams have proactively managed COVID-19 related challenges, and overall project delivery is satisfactory. Uncertainty exists around local situations, border access, movement of people and goods, and our ability to engage with Traditional Owners and local communities. However, based on current expectations, capital expenditure guidance is unchanged at around $6 billion in 2020 and around $7 billion in 2021 and 2022.

-- Our focus continues to be on the completion of original planned sustaining expenditure in the fourth quarter to enhance the resilience of our asset base.

-- Exploration and evaluation operating expense in the third quarter was $170 million, 4% lower than the third quarter of 2019, and 25% higher than the second quarter of 2020, as activities progressed in some regions following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Pilbara replacement projects

-- Supply chain issues continue to be managed and construction continues to progress despite necessary social distancing and travel restrictions. Projects have now transitioned back to original roster patterns as restrictions have eased in Western Australia. Despite these impacts to project productivity, delivery of first ore remains on schedule.

-- Construction on the Gudai-Darri(1) (formerly known as Koodaideri) project continues with production ramp-up still expected to occur in early 2022. The airstrip runway sealing is now complete and has received its first flight. Rail formation works are on target and track-laying will commence in the fourth quarter of 2020.

-- First ore from the Robe River Joint Venture sustaining production projects (West Angelas C, D and Mesa B, C and H at Robe Valley) is still expected in 2021.

-- Construction is progressing at Western Turner Syncline Phase 2, with planning underway for the next integration shut at Tom Price. Earthworks and concrete works are progressing well with the project completing the first two primary crusher vault wall concrete pours and first ore from the crusher is still expected in 2021.

Oyu Tolgoi underground project

-- Work on the project has continued to progress despite COVID-19 controls and ongoing international travel restrictions.

-- Care and maintenance activities continue at shafts 3 and 4; some commissioning activities have advanced in preparation for shaft sinking, including rope installation on shaft 4. Further progress will require the remobilisation of international shaft sinking specialists and preparation is underway to mobilise some of these contractors before the end of 2020.

-- Overall, underground lateral development has now reached 45,858 equivalent metres, or around 90% of the required development to support firing of the first drawbell.

-- All surface infrastructure required for sustainable production is complete and the team is focused on progressing the critical underground Material Handling System 1 (MHS1) to the stage needed ahead of the first drawbell firing. The balance of project infrastructure to be delivered post completion of MHS1 is not needed for sustainable production, however, it is needed to support the production ramp-up profile.

-- Preliminary indications from the definitive estimate process are that first sustainable production is trending towards the earlier months of the October 2022 to June 2023 range. The estimated development capital cost remains within the range of $6.6 to $7.1 billion. This assessment has now been updated to include known cost and schedule impacts from COVID-19 and assumes an easing of travel restrictions and COVID-19 related controls from the time of reporting. This remains subject to ongoing review as part of finalising the definitive estimate of cost and schedule for Panel 0, expected in the fourth quarter of 2020(2) .

-- On 3 July, we announced the completion of an updated feasibility study (OTFS20) prepared in accordance with Mongolian regulations and standards. Registration of supporting documents required before formal acceptance of the OTFS20 has been delayed. In accordance with the 2009 Investment Agreement and Mongolian regulation, the Government of Mongolia is required to approve the OTFS20. The OTFS20 also forms the basis for the uplift in the overall project cost that will require approval from all shareholders prior to the under-cut decision (decision to initiate caving) in 2021.

-- Oyu Tolgoi has been working to progress power negotiations with the Government of Mongolia as required under the terms of the Power Source Framework Agreement Amendment signed in June 2020;

An extension of power import arrangements with China's Inner Mongolian Western Grid is required by 1 March 2021 in order to ensure sufficient certainty on future supply of power once the under-cut decision is taken.

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the construction of a State Owned Power Plant at Tavan Tolgoi that will be funded by the Government of Mongolia is required to be agreed by 31 March 2021.

Following the agreement to purchase some power from the Mongolian national grid, on 3 September 2020, Oyu Tolgoi LLC and the Government of Mongolia executed a PPA to supply power to the Oyu Tolgoi camps.

-- On 14 October 2020, a putative class action was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill") and certain of their respective officers and directors arising out of the operation and development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Southern Mongolia. The complaint, which purports to be brought on behalf of certain purchasers of Turquoise Hill securities, asserts violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks unspecified damages. Rio Tinto believes that the complaint is without merit.

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 remains on full suspension. 

-- At the Kemano hydropower tunnel project in British Columbia, Canada, tunnel boring works re-started in September with completion now expected in 2022.

-- At the Resolution project in Arizona, US, we continue to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including engagement with local communities. Deepening of the existing shaft 9 reached approximately 2 kilometres of the 2.1 kilometres as at the end of September, with shaft sinking expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. Work is also continuing on the underground characterisation study to increase ore-body knowledge.

-- At the Winu project in Western Australia, drilling and fieldwork activities continue. Engagement with Traditional Owners has resumed following easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions in Western Australia. This engagement is likely to take longer than originally forecast, and hence may have an impact on first targeted production of 2023.

-- Work continues on the technical optimisation of the Simandou project(3) , and preparatory activity related to an update of the project's 2012 Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) is also under way. Engagement continues with the Government of Guinea about potential mechanisms for collaboration on infrastructure development.

-- The Jadar lithium-borate project in Serbia has progressed to feasibility study with focus on the mine design, land acquisitions and stakeholder engagement and is due to be completed by the end of 2021.

(1) Spelling change from Koodaideri at the request of the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation.

(2) 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 Pre-Feasibility Study, and further work is required between now and year end 2020 to refine the mine design and study them to a level of confidence and accuracy associated with Feasibility Study quality estimates.

(3) Operating under the Simfer joint venture where the Government of Guinea holds 15% and Simfer Jersey holds 85%. Simfer Jersey is owned by Chalco Iron Ore Holdings (CIOH) (47%), Rio Tinto (53%). CIOH is owned by: Chinalco (75%), Baosteel Resources (20%), China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) (2.5%) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) (2.5%). This structure has been in place since 2017.

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

 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 (Million tonnes)                 2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
Pilbara Blend and SP10 
 Lump(1)                          18.3   -13%       -4%        55.7      -8% 
Pilbara Blend and SP10 
 Fines(1)                         33.6    +6%       +9%        92.2      +4% 
Robe Valley Lump                   1.4   -15%       +5%         4.2     +20% 
Robe Valley Fines                  2.5   -19%      -17%         7.9     +22% 
Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)          15.7    +7%       +6%        44.6      +6% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
Total Pilbara production          71.4    -1%       +4%       204.5      +1% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
Total Pilbara production 
 (100% basis)                     86.4    -1%       +4%       247.4      +2% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
 
 
                                   Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of shipments 
 (Million tonnes)                2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
Pilbara Blend Lump               15.5    -3%       -7%        46.6      -6% 
Pilbara Blend Fines              31.7    +6%       -4%        91.4      +3% 
Robe Valley Lump                  1.1   -14%       -1%         3.4     +21% 
Robe Valley Fines                 2.7   -19%       -9%         8.4     +16% 
Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)         14.2    -1%       -9%        42.7      +2% 
SP10 Lump(1)                      0.8   -69%      -19%         2.8     -14% 
SP10 Fines(1)                     1.5   -63%       -7%         4.2     -43% 
-----------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
Total Pilbara shipments(2)       67.6    -6%       -6%       199.5      -1% 
-----------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
Total Pilbara shipments 
 (100% basis)(2)                 82.1    -5%       -5%       241.7       0% 
-----------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
Total Pilbara Shipments 
 (consolidated basis)(2, 
 3)                              69.5    -6%       -6%       205.2      -1% 
-----------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
 

1 SP10 includes other lower grade products.

2 Shipments includes material shipped from the Pilbara to our portside trading facility in China which may not be sold onwards by the group in the same period.

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 86.4 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 71.4 million tonnes) in the third quarter of 2020, 1% lower than the same period of 2019, and 4% higher than the previous quarter. Our mines also achieved record total material moved in the third quarter: 6.4% higher than the previous record from the third quarter of 2019. A solid operational performance, considering an increase in planned maintenance activity deferred from the first half related to COVID-19 restrictions.

Third quarter shipments of 82.1 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 67.6 million tonnes) were 5% lower than the third quarter of 2019 with significant planned maintenance activity affecting the port during the period.

Planned maintenance activities deferred from the first half are expected to continue through the fourth quarter. Impacts from this activity have been taken into account for cost and shipment guidance.

Approximately 14% of shipments in the first nine months of 2020 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.

In September, we celebrated a significant milestone with our long-standing partners, China Baowu Steel Group. Through the Bao-HI Ranges iron ore joint venture, we have shipped more than 200 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara in Western Australia to mills in China. Outside of its commercial partnership, the Bao-HI Ranges joint venture has delivered other benefits including training opportunities for China Baowu employees and, last year, Rio Tinto, China Baowu and Tsinghua University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. The 200 million tonnes event followed a broader milestone as we shipped our three billionth tonne of iron ore to China in September (six billionth tonne in total), 47 years after our first delivery from the Pilbara.

China Portside Trading

We continue to ramp up our port sales in China, with 3.6 million tonnes of sales 2020 year to date including 1.2 million tonnes in the third quarter. In September we signed a memorandum of understanding with Dalian Port Company Limited to establish our first iron ore blending operation in a bonded area. This partnership allows us to offer a blended product to customers across Asia, using Dalian Port as a transshipment hub. Our portside operation handles product from our operations in the Pilbara and in Canada - Iron Ore Company of Canada - as well as third party product, and provides blending and screening capabilities.

ALUMINIUM

 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 ('000 tonnes)                    2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
------------------------------  ------  --------  --------  ------- 
Bauxite                         14,459   +5%       -1%       42,832     +7% 
Bauxite third party 
 shipments                      10,064   -3%       -6%       30,254     +5% 
Alumina                          1,954   +7%       -2%        5,954     +4% 
Aluminium                          797   +1%       +2%        2,365     -1% 
==============================  ======  ===       ===       =======  ===== === 
 

Bauxite

Third quarter bauxite production was 5% higher than the same period of 2019 with increased production across all sites for both the quarter and year to date, including record quarterly production at the non-managed CBG joint venture in Guinea where the ramp-up of the expansion continues to progress. Production was slightly lower than the second quarter due to planned maintenance activities delayed from the first half.

We shipped 10.1 million tonnes of bauxite to third parties in the third quarter, 3% lower than the same period of 2019. This reflected phasing of shipments prioritised to align with customer needs in the prior quarter, with a higher proportion of internal shipments to the Pacific refineries in the third quarter.

Alumina

Alumina production in the third quarter of 2020 was 7% higher than the same period of 2019 with strong production at both our Pacific refineries, considering a planned major shutdown at Yarwun during the quarter.

Aluminium

Our aluminium business continues to demonstrate operational stability and performance across the supply chain, despite the continued impact of COVID-19. Production of 0.8 million tonnes in the third quarter was 1% higher than the third quarter of 2019. The Becancour smelter in Quebec, Canada is operating close to full capacity and good progress has been made on the pot relining at the Kitimat smelter in British Columbia, Canada.

In response to improved market conditions, we have increased the proportion of primary metal being produced as VAP to 45% of primary metal sold in the third quarter of 2020 (third quarter of 2019: 52%, first half 2020: 40%).

The ISAL smelter in Iceland continued to operate at 85% of capacity, and the Tiwai Point smelter in New Zealand (NZAS) operated at around 90% of capacity, with the fourth pot-line remaining curtailed since 3 April 2020.

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 Australia and Iceland. Discussions continue with the New Zealand Government and Meridian Energy on next steps relating to the wind-down of operations and eventual closure of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter, announced in July 2020.

Work on the strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland announced in February 2020 is ongoing. In July 2020, we submitted a complaint to the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA), alleging abuse of market dominance by energy supplier Landsvirkjun. This case is ongoing, pending a hearing with the ICA.

Discussions are continuing on a labour agreement at the ISAL smelter, with preparations in place for potential industrial action.

COPPER AND DIAMONDS

 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 ('000 tonnes)                    2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
Mined copper 
Kennecott                         34.7   -40%       -5%       106.2     -30% 
Escondida                         82.8    -9%       -1%       253.0      +2% 
Oyu Tolgoi                        12.2   +28%       -1%        36.2      -5% 
 
Refined copper 
Kennecott                         10.4   -74%      +44%        44.0     -67% 
Escondida                         14.4   -14%      -27%        54.9      +1% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 ('000 carats)                    2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
------------------------------  ------  --------  --------  ------- 
Argyle                           3,203   -10%       -2%       9,052      -6% 
Diavik                           1,001    +1%       +4%       2,821     -12% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ------ 
 

Kennecott

Mined copper production was 40% lower than the same quarter of 2019, due to a 51% reduction in grade as a result of sequencing to optimise molybdenum ore production during the extended smelter shutdown. Grades will continue to be lower through 2020 before increasing in 2021, with the transition in east to south wall mining.

Refined copper was 74% lower than the same quarter in 2019 due to delays in restarting the smelter following planned major maintenance in May to June 2020. We are in the process of safely restarting the smelter and expect that it will be fully operational during October. Plans are underway to sell some copper concentrate in the fourth quarter to partly mitigate the impact of the delayed re-start of the smelter.

Molybdenum concentrate production was 141% higher than the same quarter of 2019, due to a 36% increase in head grade as a result of mine sequencing, and a 39% increase in recovery, following productivity improvements to the circuit.

Escondida

Escondida continued to operate with a reduced workforce in the third quarter as a result of the comprehensive preventative measures incorporated in response to COVID-19. Mined copper production was 9% lower than the same quarter of 2019 due to 44% lower material stacked into the leaching pads, offset by higher concentrator throughput. Refined copper was also impacted by lower material stacked into the leach pads.

Oyu Tolgoi

Mined copper production from the open pit was 28% higher than the same quarter of 2019 and steady quarter on quarter reflective of the move to higher grade areas of the open pit in 2020, primarily due to accelerated mine development and production phasing. Access to higher copper and gold grades is expected to continue for the remainder of 2020, which was originally planned for the first half of 2021.

Diamonds

At Argyle, carat production was 10% lower than the same period of 2019 as a result of a reduction in recovered grade. Preparation continues for the safe cessation of operations before the end of 2020, followed by closure activities to commence in 2021.

At Diavik, carats recovered in the third quarter of 2020 were 1% higher than the third quarter of 2019, due to higher ore availability and higher processed tonnes.

ENERGY AND MINERALS

 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 (million tonnes)                 2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
Iron ore pellets and 
 concentrate 
IOC                                2.3   -21%      -15%         7.7     -4% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ----- --- 
 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 ('000 tonnes)                    2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
==============================  ======  ========  ========  ------- 
Minerals 
Borates - B(2) O(3) 
 content                           123   -11%       -6%         381     -3% 
Titanium dioxide slag              293    -9%      +12%         848     -8% 
------------------------------  ------  ----      ----      -------  ----- --- 
 
                                    Q3     vs Q3     vs Q2   9 MTHS    vs 9 MTHS 
Rio Tinto share of production 
 ('000 lbs)                       2020      2019      2020     2020         2019 
------------------------------  ------  --------  --------  ------- 
Uranium 
Energy Resources of 
 Australia                         735   +26%       +2%       2,128     +7% 
==============================  ======  ====      ====      -------  ----- --- 
 

Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

Iron ore pellets and concentrate production were 21% lower than the third quarter of 2019 due to an annual planned maintenance shutdown deferred from June to September as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions. A weather related power failure and mechanical issues also impacted production in the third quarter.

We have continued the optimisation of IOC product mix to match market demand, returning to higher pellet production, following signs of recovery in demand from Europe. IOC is now operating five out of six lines in its pellet plant, with plans to bring back the sixth line before the end of 2020.

Borates

Borates production was 11% below the corresponding period of 2019. Refinery operating rates continued to be below capacity during the quarter. We adjust refinery operating rates to match market demand for borates products. Market demand is being adversely impacted by COVID-19 in a number of end-use segments.

At our Boron operation in California, a demonstration plant producing lithium carbonate from a waste stream was commissioned. Optimisation of the plant will continue ahead of potential expansion of the project to support commercial production.

Iron and Titanium

Titanium dioxide production was 9% lower than same period of 2019, as a result of weaker market conditions which impacted production at Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT), partly offset by operational challenges experienced at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in 2019. Production was 12% higher than the prior quarter with RBM production stabilising in the third quarter after COVID-19 operational restrictions eased.

Uranium

ERA's Ranger operation continued to process existing stockpiles uninterrupted during the third quarter. Our share of production was 26% higher than the third quarter of 2019, primarily due to our change in shareholding following completion of ERA's entitlement offer in February 2020 (our shareholding of ERA increased from 68.39 to 86.33 per cent). ERA is preparing for the safe cessation of operations by January 2021, in line with ERA's statutory obligations.

EXPLORATION AND EVALUATION

Pre-tax and pre-divestment expenditure on exploration and evaluation charged to the profit and loss account for the first nine months of 2020 was $450 million, compared with $464 million in the first nine months of 2019. Approximately 42% of this expenditure was incurred by central exploration, 42% by Copper & Diamonds, 9% by Energy & Minerals and 7% by Iron Ore.

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

Exploration highlights

Rio Tinto has a strong portfolio of projects with activity in 16 countries across eight commodities in early exploration and studies stages. Due to COVID-19, there have been significant impacts on exploration activities in some jurisdictions. All projects have followed government requirements and guidelines while focusing on protecting the well-being and health of local indigenous communities. The bulk of the exploration expenditure in the third quarter focused on copper in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Peru, Serbia, United States and Zambia, and diamonds projects in Canada. Mine-lease exploration continued at Rio Tinto managed businesses including Pilbara Iron in Australia, and Diavik in Canada. At Winu, studies are ongoing and drilling has focused on resource definition and brownfield exploration. At Falcon, processing of diamond samples collected in 2020 is ongoing. A summary of activity for the quarter is as follows:

 
                                                              Greenfield/ Brownfield 
Commodities  Studies Stage          Advanced projects          programmes 
                                    Amargosa, Brazil*; 
Bauxite                              Sanxai, Laos*            Cape York, Australia 
-----------  ---------------------  ------------------------ 
                                                              Copper Greenfield: 
                                                               Australia, Chile, 
                                                               China, Kazakhstan, 
                                                               Nicaragua*, Peru, 
                                                               Serbia, US, Zambia, 
                                                               Brazil, Canada, 
                                                               Colombia*, Finland, 
             Copper/molybdenum:     La Granja, Peru            Kosovo (3rd party 
              Resolution, US;        Nickel: Tamarack,         operated) 
              Copper/Gold: Winu,     US (3rd party operated)   Nickel Greenfield: 
Base Metals   Australia              Pribrezhniy, Kazakhstan   Canada, Finland 
-----------  ---------------------  ------------------------ 
                                                              Diamonds Greenfield: 
                                                               Canada 
                                                               Diamonds Brownfield: 
Diamonds     Falcon, Canada                                    Diavik 
-----------  ---------------------  ------------------------ 
             Lithium borates: 
              Jadar, Serbia 
              Potash: KP405, 
              Canada 
              Heavy mineral sands: 
              Mutamba, Mozambique 
Minerals      (3rd party operated) 
-----------  ---------------------  ------------------------ 
Iron Ore     Pilbara, Australia     Pilbara, Australia        Brownfield: Pilbara 
-----------  ---------------------  ------------------------ 
 

*Limited activity during the quarter

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT

This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the 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 financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions and any statements related to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic), are forward-looking statements. The words "intend", "aim", "project", "anticipate", "estimate", "plan", "believes", "expects", "may", "would", "should", "could", "will", "target", "set to", "seek", "risk" 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 results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto's present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are levels of actual production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation, the risks and uncertainties associated with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 or other pandemic and such other risk factors 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. The above list is not exhaustive. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, particularly in light of the current economic climate and the significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. 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 Guidance 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

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==================================  ============================= 
Group Company Secretary             Joint Company Secretary 
 Steve Allen                         Tim Paine 
 
 
 
 Rio Tinto plc                       Rio Tinto Limited 
 6 St James's Square                 Level 7, 360 Collins Street 
 London SW1Y 4AD                     Melbourne 3000 
 United Kingdom                      Australia 
 T +44 20 7781 2000                  T +61 3 9283 3333 
 Registered in England               Registered in Australia 
 No. 719885                          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                   9 Months                     % change 
                                                                                          Q3       Q3      9 MTHS 
                                                                                          20       20          20 
                                  2019    2020    2020          2019      2020            vs       vs          vs 
                                                                                          Q3       Q2      9 MTHS 
                                    Q3      Q2      Q3        9 MTHS    9 MTHS            19       20          19 
                                ------  ------  ------      --------  --------      --------  -------  ---------- 
Principal commodities 
                                ------  ------  ------      --------  --------      --------  -------  ---------- 
                         ('000 
Alumina                     t)   1,826   1,990   1,954         5,713     5,954        +7%      -2%         +4% 
                         ('000 
Aluminium                   t)     789     785     797         2,388     2,365        +1%      +2%         -1% 
                         ('000 
Bauxite                     t)  13,796  14,560  14,459        39,967    42,832        +5%      -1%         +7% 
                         ('000 
Borates                     t)     138     132     123           391       381       -11%      -6%         -3% 
                         ('000 
Copper - mined              t)   157.9   132.8   129.6         438.7     395.4       -18%      -2%        -10% 
                         ('000 
Copper - refined            t)    57.1    26.9    24.8         187.7      98.9       -57%      -8%        -47% 
                         ('000 
Diamonds                  cts)   4,551   4,235   4,204        12,828    11,873        -8%      -1%         -7% 
                         ('000 
Iron Ore                    t)  75,117  71,689  73,707       209,839   212,183        -2%      +3%         +1% 
Titanium dioxide         ('000 
 slag                       t)     321     262     293           920       848        -9%     +12%         -8% 
                         ('000 
Uranium                   lbs)     585     718     735         1,998     2,128       +26%      +2%         +7% 
                                ------  ------  ------      --------  --------      ----      ---      ------ 
Other Metals 
 & Minerals 
                         ('000 
Gold - mined               oz)    87.8    63.6    68.7         314.8     193.9       -22%      +8%        -38% 
                         ('000 
Gold - refined             oz)    60.8    30.1     3.7         155.4      78.6       -94%     -88%        -49% 
                         ('000 
Molybdenum                  t)     2.1     3.9     5.1           6.6      14.1      +141%     +33%       +114% 
                         ('000 
Salt                        t)   1,392   1,425   1,279         3,972     3,748        -8%     -10%         -6% 
                         ('000 
Silver - mined             oz)   1,320   1,077   1,133         4,203     3,237       -14%      +5%        -23% 
                         ('000 
Silver - refined           oz)     664     382      70         2,014       914       -89%     -82%        -55% 
                                ------  ------  ------      --------  --------      ----      ---      ------ 
 

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      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                           interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019     2020 
-------------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------- 
 
ALUMINA 
Production ('000 tonnes) 
  Jonquière (Vaudreuil)              100%          360     345     373     340     347   1,069    1,060 
  Jonquière (Vaudreuil) 
   specialty Alumina plant                100%           28      24      24      25      22      85       70 
  Queensland Alumina                       80%          669     716     713     711     763   2,047    2,186 
  São Luis (Alumar)                   10%           99      97      94      95      98     271      286 
  Yarwun                                  100%          671     850     806     820     725   2,241    2,351 
Rio Tinto total alumina 
 production                                           1,826   2,032   2,010   1,990   1,954   5,713    5,954 
 
ALUMINIUM 
Production ('000 tonnes) 
  Australia - Bell Bay                    100%           48      48      47      49      48     141      144 
  Australia - Boyne Island                 59%           75      74      75      75      76     222      226 
  Australia - Tomago                       52%           77      76      75      76      77     227      228 
  Canada - six wholly 
   owned                                  100%          399     383     375     370     375   1,198    1,119 
  Canada - Alouette (Sept-Îles)       40%           61      62      61      62      63     179      186 
  Canada - Bécancour                  25%            4       7      18      26      26      12       70 
  Iceland - ISAL (Reykjavik)              100%           36      43      45      44      46     141      135 
  New Zealand - Tiwai 
   Point                                   79%           70      69      67      65      66     210      198 
  Oman - Sohar                             20%           20      20      20      20      20      58       59 
Rio Tinto total aluminium 
 production                                             789     783     783     785     797   2,388    2,365 
 
BAUXITE 
Production ('000 tonnes) 
 (a) 
  Gove                                    100%        2,968   3,273   2,876   3,186   3,147   8,929    9,209 
  Porto Trombetas                          12%          385     371     338     270     396     956    1,003 
  Sangaredi                                     (b)   1,749   1,227   1,879   1,742   1,920   4,938    5,541 
  Weipa                                   100%        8,695  10,267   8,720   9,362   8,997  25,144   27,079 
Rio Tinto total bauxite 
 production                                          13,796  15,137  13,813  14,560  14,459  39,967   42,832 
 

(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      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                              interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
 
BORATES 
Production ('000 tonnes 
 B(2) O(3) content) 
  Rio Tinto Borates 
   - borates                 100%          138     128     126     132     123     391      381 
------------------------  ------   ---  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------- 
 
COPPER 
Mine production ('000 
 tonnes) (a) 
  Bingham Canyon             100%         57.8    35.4    35.0    36.5    34.7   151.4    106.2 
  Escondida                   30%         90.5    92.3    86.2    84.0    82.8   249.2    253.0 
  Oyu Tolgoi (b)              34%          9.5    11.0    11.8    12.2    12.2    38.0     36.2 
Rio Tinto total mine 
 production                              157.9   138.7   133.0   132.8   129.6   438.7    395.4 
Refined production 
 ('000 tonnes) 
  Escondida                   30%         16.8    20.5    20.9    19.7    14.4    54.5     54.9 
  Rio Tinto Kennecott        100%         40.3    51.4    26.4     7.2    10.4   133.2     44.0 
Rio Tinto total refined 
 production                               57.1    71.9    47.2    26.9    24.8   187.7     98.9 
 

(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%     3,558  3,363  2,578  3,271  3,203   9,636   9,052 
  Diavik                    60%       994    840    857    963  1,001   3,191   2,821 
Rio Tinto total diamond 
 production                         4,551  4,203  3,434  4,235  4,204  12,828  11,873 
 
GOLD 
Mine production ('000 
 ounces) (a) 
  Bingham Canyon           100%      64.6   52.0   41.9   40.2   43.7   182.6   125.8 
  Escondida                 30%      14.6   14.8   10.8   13.0   12.7    59.3    36.5 
  Oyu Tolgoi (b)            34%       8.6    8.2    8.8   10.4   12.3    72.9    31.5 
Rio Tinto total mine 
 production                          87.8   75.0   61.5   63.6   68.7   314.8   193.9 
Refined production 
 ('000 ounces) 
  Rio Tinto Kennecott      100%      60.8   63.3   44.8   30.1    3.7   155.4    78.6 
 

(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.

 
 
 

Rio Tinto share of production

 
                                                 Rio                                                9        9 
                                               Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3     MTHS     MTHS 
                                            interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020     2019     2020 
--------------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
 
IRON ORE 
Production ('000 tonnes) 
 (a) 
  Hamersley mines                                (b)  55,567  52,521  49,327  53,187  54,852  156,871  157,366 
  Hamersley - Channar                      60%           947   1,452   1,160   1,334   1,710    3,330    4,204 
  Hope Downs                               50%         6,077   6,047   5,667   5,659   6,625   18,085   17,951 
  Iron Ore Company of Canada               59%         2,960   2,564   2,560   2,762   2,340    7,972    7,663 
  Robe River - Pannawonica 
   (Mesas J and A)                         53%         4,725   4,360   3,880   4,307   3,882    9,924   12,068 
  Robe River - West Angelas                53%         4,840   4,409   4,193   4,440   4,298   13,657   12,932 
Rio Tinto iron ore production 
 ('000 tonnes)                                        75,117  71,352  66,787  71,689  73,707  209,839  212,183 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Breakdown of Production: 
  Pilbara Blend and SP10 Lump 
   (c)                                                21,015  19,930  18,504  18,970  18,253   60,836   55,727 
  Pilbara Blend and SP10 Fines 
   (c)                                                31,713  30,304  27,734  30,866  33,570   88,955   92,170 
  Robe Valley Lump                                     1,650   1,574   1,472   1,326   1,399    3,486    4,197 
  Robe Valley Fines                                    3,075   2,786   2,407   2,981   2,483    6,438    7,871 
  Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)                            14,704  14,194  14,110  14,784  15,662   42,151   44,556 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Pilbara iron ore production 
 ('000 tonnes)                                        72,156  68,788  64,227  68,927  71,366  201,867  204,521 
  IOC Concentrate                                      1,400   1,146     923   1,523   1,038    3,483    3,484 
  IOC Pellets                                          1,560   1,418   1,637   1,240   1,302    4,489    4,179 
IOC iron ore production ('000 
 tonnes)                                               2,960   2,564   2,560   2,762   2,340    7,972    7,663 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Breakdown of Shipments: 
  Pilbara Blend Lump                                  15,948  16,176  14,385  16,700  15,514   49,729   46,599 
  Pilbara Blend Fines                                 30,032  31,182  26,692  33,036  31,710   89,061   91,438 
  Robe Valley Lump                                     1,290   1,246   1,132   1,118   1,112    2,784    3,362 
  Robe Valley Fines                                    3,349   3,259   2,688   2,999   2,724    7,234    8,411 
  Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)                            14,286  15,260  12,913  15,578  14,203   41,791   42,694 
  SP10 Lump (c)                                        2,685   2,072   1,006   1,014     822    3,319    2,842 
  SP10 Fines (c)                                       4,057   2,081   1,089   1,603   1,488    7,346    4,180 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Pilbara iron ore shipments 
 ('000 tonnes) (d)                                    71,646  71,277  59,903  72,048  67,574  201,264  199,525 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Pilbara iron ore shipments - consolidated 
 basis ('000 tonnes) (d) (f)                          73,787  73,401  61,729  73,976  69,496  206,558  205,201 
  IOC Concentrate                                      1,425   1,223   1,006   1,410   1,355    3,256    3,771 
  IOC Pellets                                          1,229   1,413   1,769   1,320   1,378    4,228    4,468 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
IOC Iron ore shipments ('000 
 tonnes) (d)                                           2,654   2,636   2,775   2,731   2,733    7,484    8,239 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Rio Tinto iron ore shipments 
 ('000 tonnes) (d)                                    74,300  73,913  62,678  74,779  70,307  208,748  207,764 
                                                      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Rio Tinto iron ore sales 
 ('000 tonnes) (e)                                    74,300  72,334  62,433  74,808  69,993  207,168  207,234 
 

(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, Western Turner Syncline, 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.

(d) Shipments includes material shipped to our portside trading facility in China which may not be sold onwards in the same period.

(e) Represents the difference between amounts shipped to portside trading and onward sales from portside trading, and third party volumes sold.

(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      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3   9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                            interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020     2019     2020 
----------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
 
MOLYBDENUM 
Mine production ('000 
 tonnes) (a) 
  Bingham Canyon           100%          2.1     4.7     5.1     3.9     5.1      6.6     14.1 
 
 

(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%     1,392  1,450  1,044  1,425  1,279  3,972  3,748 
-------------------------  ---      -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ----- 
 
SILVER 
Mine production ('000 
 ounces) (a) 
  Bingham Canyon           100%       768    605    538    526    586  2,210  1,650 
  Escondida                 30%       488    539    417    480    474  1,767  1,371 
  Oyu Tolgoi (b)            34%        64     64     72     71     73    227    216 
                                    -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ----- 
Rio Tinto total mine 
 production                         1,320  1,209  1,027  1,077  1,133  4,203  3,237 
                                    -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ----- 
Refined production 
 ('000 ounces) 
  Rio Tinto Kennecott      100%       664    839    462    382     70  2,014    914 
 

(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%     321  286  293  262  293  920  848 
 
 

(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 
 U(3) O(8) ) (a) 
  Energy Resources of 
   Australia            86%     585  642  676  718  735  1,998  2,128 
 
 

(a) ERA production data are drummed U(3) O(8) .

On 25 February 2020, Rio Tinto's ownership interest in ERA increased 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.

 
 
 

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.

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 30 September 2020.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                          Rio 
                                        Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                     interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019     2020 
-------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------- 
 
ALUMINA 
Smelter Grade Alumina 
 - Aluminium Group 
Alumina production 
 ('000 tonnes) 
Australia 
  Queensland Alumina 
   Refinery - Queensland             80.0%        836     895     891     889     953   2,559    2,733 
  Yarwun refinery - Queensland      100.0%        671     850     806     820     725   2,241    2,351 
Brazil 
  São Luis (Alumar) 
   refinery                          10.0%        989     966     936     945     976   2,713    2,858 
Canada 
  Jonquière (Vaudreuil) 
   refinery - Quebec (a)            100.0%        360     345     373     340     347   1,069    1,060 
 

(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%     28  24  24  25  22  85  70 
 
 
 
 
 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                        Rio 
                                      Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                   interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019     2020 
-----------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------- 
 
ALUMINIUM 
Primary Aluminium 
Primary aluminium production 
 ('000 tonnes) 
Australia 
  Bell Bay smelter - 
   Tasmania                       100.0%         48      48      47      49      48     141      144 
  Boyne Island smelter 
   - Queensland                    59.4%        125     125     126     126     128     374      380 
  Tomago smelter - New 
   South Wales                     51.6%        149     148     145     148     150     440      442 
Canada 
  Alma smelter - Quebec           100.0%        119     119     118     118     118     352      354 
  Alouette (Sept-Îles) 
   smelter - Quebec                40.0%        153     155     153     155     156     447      464 
  Arvida smelter - Quebec         100.0%         45      44      44      42      41     131      128 
  Arvida AP60 smelter 
   - Quebec                       100.0%         15      15      15      15      15      44       44 
  Bécancour smelter 
   - Quebec                        25.1%         16      28      72     102     104      49      278 
  Grande-Baie smelter 
   - Quebec                       100.0%         59      59      58      55      55     174      168 
  Kitimat smelter - British 
   Columbia                       100.0%         96      81      76      78      84     304      238 
  Laterrière smelter 
   - Quebec                       100.0%         65      65      64      62      62     193      187 
Iceland 
  ISAL (Reykjavik) smelter        100.0%         36      43      45      44      46     141      135 
New Zealand 
  Tiwai Point smelter              79.4%         88      87      84      82      84     264      249 
Oman 
  Sohar smelter                    20.0%         98      98      99      99     100     292      297 
 
 
 
 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                            Rio 
                                          Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                       interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019     2020 
---------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------- 
 
BAUXITE 
Bauxite production ('000 
 tonnes) 
Australia 
  Gove mine - Northern Territory      100.0%      2,968   3,273   2,876   3,186   3,147   8,929    9,209 
  Weipa mine - Queensland             100.0%      8,695  10,267   8,720   9,362   8,997  25,144   27,079 
Brazil 
  Porto Trombetas (MRN) 
   mine                                12.0%      3,205   3,090   2,814   2,251   3,296   7,970    8,361 
Guinea 
  Sangaredi mine (a)                   23.0%      3,887   2,727   4,175   3,871   4,267  10,973   12,313 
 
Rio Tinto share of bauxite 
 shipments 
Share of total bauxite 
 shipments ('000 tonnes)                         13,912  14,849  13,567  14,668  14,117  39,758   42,352 
Share of third party bauxite 
 shipments ('000 tonnes)                         10,361  10,968   9,469  10,721  10,064  28,680   30,254 
 

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

 
                                       Rio 
                                     Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                                  interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
----------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
BORATES 
Rio Tinto Borates - borates      100.0% 
US 
  Borates ('000 tonnes) 
   (a)                                         138     128     126     132     123     391      381 
 
 

(a) Production is expressed as B(2) O(3) content.

 
                                          Rio 
                                        Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                                     interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
-------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
 
COPPER & GOLD 
Escondida                           30.0% 
Chile 
Sulphide ore to concentrator 
 ('000 tonnes)                                 33,956  33,659  33,440  34,755  34,733  98,502  102,928 
  Average copper grade (%)                       0.86    0.87    0.82    0.81    0.85    0.85       0.83 
Mill production (metals 
 in concentrates): 
  Contained copper ('000 
   tonnes)                                      245.0   246.1   230.0   236.8   243.9   692.8    710.7 
  Contained gold ('000 ounces)                   48.8    49.2    36.0    43.4    42.3   197.5    121.7 
  Contained silver ('000 
   ounces)                                      1,626   1,798   1,390   1,599   1,580   5,889    4,569 
Recoverable copper in ore 
 stacked for leaching ('000 
 tonnes) (a)                                     56.8    61.7    57.2    43.3    32.1   138.0    132.6 
Refined production from 
 leach plants: 
  Copper cathode production 
   ('000 tonnes)                                 55.9    68.4    69.6    65.5    47.9   181.8    183.1 
 
 

(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 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                        Rio 
                                      Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                                   interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
-----------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
 
COPPER & GOLD (continued) 
Rio Tinto Kennecott 
Bingham Canyon mine               100.0% 
Utah, US 
Ore treated ('000 tonnes)                    10,084  11,141  10,315  10,083  12,860  30,892   33,258 
Average ore grade: 
  Copper (%)                                   0.64    0.36    0.37    0.41    0.32    0.55       0.36 
  Gold (g/t)                                   0.30    0.23    0.22    0.23    0.21    0.29       0.22 
  Silver (g/t)                                 2.74    2.09    2.16    2.14    2.00    2.78       2.09 
  Molybdenum (%)                              0.039   0.061   0.058   0.056   0.053   0.037    0.055 
Copper concentrates produced 
 ('000 tonnes)                                  207     156     148     135     140     575      423 
  Average concentrate grade 
   (% Cu)                                      27.8    22.6    23.7    26.6    24.7    26.3       25.0 
Production of metals 
 in copper concentrates: 
  Copper ('000 tonnes) 
   (a)                                         57.8    35.4    35.0    36.5    34.7   151.4    106.2 
  Gold ('000 ounces)                           64.6    52.0    41.9    40.2    43.7   182.6    125.8 
  Silver ('000 ounces)                          768     605     538     526     586   2,210    1,650 
Molybdenum concentrates 
 produced ('000 tonnes):                        4.3     9.4    10.4     7.8    10.3    13.0     28.5 
  Molybdenum in concentrates 
   ('000 tonnes)                                2.1     4.7     5.1     3.9     5.1     6.6     14.1 
 
Kennecott smelter & refinery      100.0% 
Copper concentrates smelted 
 ('000 tonnes)                                  160     216     161      51       1     571      214 
Copper anodes produced 
 ('000 tonnes) (b)                             39.3    53.7    24.0   (2.1)    20.2   132.9     42.0 
Production of refined 
 metal: 
  Copper ('000 tonnes)                         40.3    51.4    26.4     7.2    10.4   133.2     44.0 
  Gold ('000 ounces) (c)                       60.8    63.3    44.8    30.1     3.7   155.4     78.6 
  Silver ('000 ounces) 
   (c)                                          664     839     462     382      70   2,014      914 
 

(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 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                     Rio 
                                   Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                                interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
--------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
 
COPPER & GOLD (continued) 
Turquoise Hill Resources 
Oyu Tolgoi mine (a)            33.5% 
Mongolia 
Ore Treated ('000 
 tonnes)                                  10,040  11,088  10,889   9,645  10,072  29,689   30,606 
Average mill head 
 grades: 
  Copper (%)                                0.37    0.42    0.42    0.47    0.45    0.46       0.45 
  Gold (g/t)                                0.14    0.15    0.15    0.19    0.21    0.34       0.18 
  Silver (g/t)                              1.03    1.06    1.14    1.22    1.22    1.16       1.19 
Copper concentrates 
 produced ('000 tonnes)                    131.3   152.6   164.5   169.9   168.5   522.1    502.9 
  Average concentrate 
   grade (% Cu)                             21.7    21.6    21.4    21.5    21.5    21.7     21.5 
Production of metals 
 in concentrates: 
  Copper in concentrates 
   ('000 tonnes)                            28.4    32.9    35.2    36.5    36.3   113.4    108.0 
  Gold in concentrates 
   ('000 ounces)                            25.6    24.3    26.2    31.1    36.7   217.5     94.0 
  Silver in concentrates 
   ('000 ounces)                             191     190     214     212     219     677      645 
Sales of metals in 
 concentrates: 
  Copper in concentrates 
   ('000 tonnes)                            32.5    32.3    25.8    39.7    34.4   117.6     99.9 
  Gold in concentrates 
   ('000 ounces)                            35.4    24.7    19.7    30.8    33.6   248.9     84.1 
  Silver in concentrates 
   ('000 ounces)                             207     244     146     220     201     652      566 
 
 

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

 
                                   Rio 
                                 Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                              interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  --------- 
 
DIAMONDS 
Argyle Diamonds              100.0% 
Western Australia 
  AK1 ore processed 
   ('000 tonnes)                         1,716   1,977   1,322   1,571   1,802   4,390    4,695 
  AK1 diamonds produced 
   ('000 carats)                         3,558   3,363   2,578   3,271   3,203   9,636    9,052 
Diavik Diamonds               60.0% 
Northwest Territories, 
 Canada 
  Ore processed ('000 
   tonnes)                                 628     516     571     626     679   1,919    1,876 
  Diamonds recovered 
   ('000 carats)                         1,656   1,400   1,428   1,606   1,668   5,319    4,701 
 
 
 
 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                         Rio 
                                       Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3   9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                    interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020     2019     2020 
------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
 
IRON ORE 
Rio Tinto Iron Ore 
Western Australia 
Pilbara Operations 
Saleable iron ore production 
 ('000 tonnes) 
  Hamersley mines                        (a)  55,567  52,521  49,327  53,187  54,852  156,871  157,366 
  Hamersley - Channar              60.0%       1,579   2,420   1,934   2,223   2,849    5,549    7,006 
  Hope Downs                       50.0%      12,155  12,095  11,334  11,318  13,250   36,169   35,903 
  Robe River - Pannawonica 
   (Mesas J and A)                 53.0%       8,914   8,225   7,320   8,126   7,324   18,725   22,770 
  Robe River - West Angelas        53.0%       9,133   8,318   7,912   8,378   8,110   25,768   24,399 
Total production ('000 
 tonnes)                                      87,347  83,579  77,827  83,232  86,385  243,083  247,444 
------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Breakdown of total 
 production: 
  Pilbara Blend and SP10 
   Lump (b)                                   25,434  24,326  22,592  23,222  22,674   73,793   68,487 
  Pilbara Blend and SP10 
   Fines (b)                                  38,296  36,833  33,806  37,100  40,725  108,413  111,631 
  Robe Valley Lump                             3,113   2,969   2,778   2,502   2,639    6,578    7,918 
  Robe Valley Fines                            5,802   5,256   4,542   5,625   4,685   12,148   14,852 
  Yandicoogina Fines 
   (HIY)                                      14,704  14,194  14,110  14,784  15,662   42,151   44,556 
------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Breakdown of total 
 shipments: 
  Pilbara Blend Lump                          19,329  19,680  17,506  20,339  19,118   59,950   56,962 
  Pilbara Blend Fines                         36,947  39,186  33,197  40,379  39,230  109,321  112,806 
  Robe Valley Lump                             2,433   2,350   2,135   2,110   2,098    5,253    6,343 
  Robe Valley Fines                            6,318   6,149   5,071   5,659   5,140   13,648   15,870 
  Yandicoogina Fines 
   (HIY)                                      14,286  15,260  12,913  15,578  14,203   41,791   42,694 
  SP10 Lump (b)                                2,685   2,072   1,006   1,014     822    3,319    2,842 
  SP10 Fines (b)                               4,057   2,081   1,089   1,603   1,488    7,346    4,180 
                                              ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Total shipments ('000 
 tonnes) (c)                                  86,055  86,779  72,916  86,681  82,099  240,628  241,697 
 
                                         Rio 
                                       Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3   9 MTHS   9 MTHS 
                                    interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020     2019     2020 
------------------------------  ------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
 
Iron Ore Company of 
 Canada                            58.7% 
Newfoundland & Labrador 
 and Quebec in Canada 
Saleable iron ore production: 
  Concentrates ('000 
   tonnes)                                     2,384   1,951   1,572   2,593   1,768    5,932    5,933 
  Pellets ('000 tonnes)                        2,657   2,415   2,788   2,112   2,217    7,646    7,116 
                                              ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
IOC Total production 
 ('000 tonnes)                                 5,041   4,366   4,360   4,704   3,985   13,577   13,049 
                                              ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Shipments: 
  Concentrates ('000 
   tonnes)                                     2,427   2,083   1,713   2,402   2,307    5,544    6,422 
  Pellets ('000 tonnes)                        2,093   2,406   3,013   2,248   2,347    7,201    7,608 
                                              ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
IOC Total Shipments 
 ('000 tonnes) (c)                             4,520   4,490   4,726   4,650   4,654   12,745   14,030 
                                              ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  -------  ------- 
Global Iron Ore Totals 
Iron Ore Production 
 ('000 tonnes)                                92,389  87,945  82,187  87,936  90,370  256,660  260,493 
Iron Ore Shipments 
 ('000 tonnes)                                90,576  91,269  77,642  91,332  86,753  253,373  255,727 
Iron Ore Sales ('000 
 tonnes) (d)                                  90,576  89,690  77,397  91,361  86,398  251,794  255,156 
 

(a) Includes 100% of production from Paraburdoo, Mt Tom Price, Western Turner Syncline, 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.

(c) Shipments includes material shipped to our portside trading facility in China which may not be sold onwards in the same period.

(d) Include Pilbara and IOC sales adjusted for portside trading movements and third party volumes sold.

 
 
 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 30 September 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

Rio Tinto operational data

 
                                     Rio 
                                   Tinto      Q3      Q4      Q1      Q2      Q3  9 MTHS     9 MTHS 
                                interest    2019    2019    2020    2020    2020    2019       2020 
 
SALT 
Dampier Salt                    68.4% 
Western Australia 
  Salt production ('000 
   tonnes)                                 2,036   2,121   1,527   2,085   1,871   5,810    5,483 
 
TITANIUM DIOXIDE SLAG 
Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium      100.0% 
Canada and South Africa 
  (Rio Tinto share) 
   (a) 
  Titanium dioxide slag 
   ('000 tonnes)                             321     286     293     262     293     920        848 
 
 

(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 
  U(3) O(8) Production 
   ('000 lbs)                      855  939  928  831  851  2,921  2,611 
 
 

(a) ERA production data are drummed U(3) O(8) .

On 25 February 2020, Rio Tinto's ownership interest in ERA increased 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.

 
 
 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 30 June 2020. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.

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END

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October 16, 2020 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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