Rio Tinto releases robust first quarter production results


Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said “These results demonstrate our commitment to operational excellence in 2016, with notable improvements in several important areas, including a strong performance in Aluminium. However, we continue to experience volatility in commodity prices across all markets. In the face of a testing external environment, our focus remains on delivering further cost and productivity improvements, disciplined capital management and maximising free cash flow, to ensure that Rio Tinto remains strong.”


  • Global iron ore shipments of 80.8 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 64.9 million tonnes) were 11 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2015 due to the completion of some brownfield developments and expanded infrastructure capacity in the Pilbara in 2015, but were lower than the prior quarter due to normal seasonal factors.
  • Improvements throughout the Aluminium product group:
    • Bauxite production of 11.1 million tonnes, improved by six per cent compared with the first quarter of 2015.
    • Alumina production increased by seven per cent compared with the first quarter of 2015.
    • Aluminium production increased by ten per cent compared with the first quarter of 2015 following the successful completion of the ramp-up at the Kitimat smelter.
  • Mined copper production was 27 per cent higher than the previous quarter, with higher grades at Kennecott, improved throughput and water availability at Escondida and a share of production from Grasberg.
  • During the quarter, the Group completed the divestment of the Bengalla coal mine and the restructure of the Coal & Allied group and announced the sale of the Mount Pleasant coal project.


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 2015 have been excluded from Rio Tinto share of production data but assets sold in 2016 remain in comparisons.