Rio Tinto’s global iron ore production set a new quarterly record and was up 12% compared with the third quarter of 2008. It expects total iron ore production in 2009 to be 215Mt.
Its Pilbara, Western Australia iron ore production of 57Mt was up 18% on the third quarter of 2008, which reflected strong iron ore markets.
It cited expansion work at the 220Mt/y site for the record level as well as de-bottlenecking its mine, rail and port operations.
Shipments to China were maintained at a high level. China imported a record 64.6Mt of iron ore last month, up nearly a third from 49.7Mt in August, the country’s customs authority said.
Rio’s chief executive Tom Albanese said: “We are seeing early signs of a recovery in some of our key markets, although we remain cautious about the near term