Rio Tinto Reports Mixed Production Results for Q2 2023

Rio Tinto Reports Mixed Production Results for Q2 2023

Anglo-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto Group, recently released its production results for the second quarter of 2023, showing both positive and negative trends in its operations. The company faced challenges in bauxite ore production due to rainy weather, while it experienced growth in aluminium smelting activities as capacity ramped up.

In the second quarter, Rio Tinto produced 13.5 million metric tons of bauxite ore, which was a 5 percent decrease compared to the same period last year but a 12 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. On the other hand, aluminium production for the quarter reached 814 thousand metric tons, marking an 11 percent improvement over the previous year and a 4 percent increase over the previous quarter.

Looking at the first half of the year, Rio Tinto’s bauxite ore production amounted to 25.6 million metric tons, showing an 8 percent decline compared to the first half of the previous year. However, aluminium production for the same period reached 1,598 thousand metric tons, a 9 percent increase compared to the previous year’s first half.

The company attributed the decrease in bauxite production to above-average rainfall at its Weipa mining operation, which restricted pit access and increased haul distances. Additionally, equipment issues at both Weipa and Gove hampered bauxite production. As a result, Rio Tinto revised its production guidance for the year to around 54 million metric tons.

In contrast, the growth in aluminium production was largely due to the ramp-up at the Kitimat aluminium smelter. Rio Tinto also mentioned that the ramp-up at both Kitimat and Boyne aluminium smelters is continuing as scheduled and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, highlighted the company’s commitment to investing in low-carbon aluminium. They plan to continue expanding low-carbon aluminium production and increasing underground copper production at Kennecott.

Furthermore, Rio Tinto announced a significant US$1.1 million investment at Complexe Jonquière in Canada, aiming to expand the AP60 aluminium smelter with low-carbon technology. The investment includes up to US$113 million in grant money from the Canadian government and will coincide with the closure of potrooms at the adjacent Arvida aluminium smelter.

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