Miner BHP Billiton reported profits of $5.7bn for 2009 on the back of iron ore demand from China.
But it remained cautious about the future and about the speed and strength of the global economic recovery across the developed world.
It said: “It appears that stimulus measures that supported the recovery have not fully addressed structural issues such as weak labour markets and excess production capacity in developed economies.
“A further variable will be the impact of any measures to control loan growth in China. It is evident that in the short term, the Chinese Government will focus on containing asset inflation.”
It said the recovery in China had boosted prices and that markets will largely be dependent on Chinese demand. Long term any demand weakness in developed countries will be offset by Chinese and Indian demand.
The country completed the Western Australia iron ore rapid growth project 4 which added 26Mt/y of capacity and is plans a fifth project which will add an additional 50Mt/y of capacity.