EX-99.1 2 d337623dex991.htm RIO TINTO 1ST QUARTER 2012 OPERATIONS REVIEW Rio Tinto 1st quarter 2012 operations review

Exhibit 99.1

 

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120 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000

Australia

T +61 (0) 3 9283 3333

F +61 (0) 3 9283 3707

Media release

 

First quarter 2012 operations review

17 April 2012

Chief executive Tom Albanese said “We had a solid first quarter with increased production of iron ore, coal, bauxite, alumina and titanium dioxide compared with the first quarter of 2011. This was driven by a combination of our consistently high operating performance and reduced impact from severe weather than in 2011. We were therefore well positioned for the relatively strong markets in the first quarter, albeit with continued volatility as we anticipated.”

 

   

First quarter global iron ore shipments of 54 million tonnes were two per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011.

 

   

First quarter global iron ore production of 59 million tonnes (46 million tonnes attributable) was 10 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011. Production was five million tonnes above shipments as ports in Western Australia were closed during cyclonic activity.

 

   

During the quarter, iron ore production and shipping capacity in the Pilbara increased by a further five million tonnes to 230 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a), following the completion of the second debottlenecking project at the Dampier port on time and on budget.

 

   

Mined copper production was 18 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2011 due to anticipated lower grades at Kennecott Utah Copper.

 

   

Bauxite and alumina production were 10 per cent and 13 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011. Aluminium was nine per cent lower primarily reflecting the orderly shutdown of two thirds of capacity at Alma, due to labour disruption, and the closure of Lynemouth.

 

   

Hard coking coal production was five per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011. Rio Tinto’s share of thermal coal production was three per cent higher following the increase in ownership in the former Coal & Allied operations.

 

   

Titanium dioxide feedstocks production was 14 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011.

 

   

On 1 February 2012, Rio Tinto announced that it will increase its stake in Richards Bay Minerals to 74 per cent through the acquisition of BHP Billiton’s 37 per cent interest.

 

   

On 27 March 2012, Rio Tinto announced that it has begun a strategic review of its diamond business that will include exploring a range of options for potential divestment.

 

   

Rio Tinto completed its share buy-back programme on 26 March 2012. Since February 2011, 116.9 million Rio Tinto plc shares have been purchased at an average price of £37.47, for a total consideration of $7.0 billion.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto’s share of production, unless otherwise stated

Registered in Australia Rio Tinto Limited 120 Collins Street Melbourne 3000 Australia ABN 96 004 458 404


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IRON ORE

Rio Tinto share of production (million tonnes)

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Pilbara Blend Lump

     11.3         +5     -12

Pilbara Blend Fines

     15.9         +14     -10

Robe Valley Lump

     1.4         +32     +14

Robe Valley Fines

     2.8         +16     -9

Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)

     12.6         +3     -13

IOC (pellets and concentrate)

     1.7         +12     -18

Global iron ore production was 59 million tonnes in the first quarter, a 10 per cent increase on the same quarter of 2011. On an attributable basis, production was nine per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011 at 46 million tonnes.

Pilbara operations

The Pilbara mines produced 56 million tonnes (44 million tonnes attributable) in the first quarter.

First quarter sales of 51 million tonnes (100 per cent basis) were three per cent higher than the same quarter of 2011. Three tropical cyclones during the quarter resulted in the temporary shutdown of port operations.

Railed product was 56.5 million tonnes for the quarter, a first quarter record despite the adverse weather conditions, and resulted in healthy stockpiles at all three ports.

During the quarter, the capacity of the Pilbara system increased by a further five million tonnes to 230 Mt/a, following the completion of the second debottlenecking project at the Dampier port on time and on budget.

Pilbara marketing

In the first quarter, approximately 40 per cent of sales were priced with reference to a quarterly average index set at the prior quarter’s average lagged by one month. The remainder was sold on a shorter term price basis linked to either the current quarter average, current month average or spot index prices. Index prices are adjusted for product characteristics and iron and moisture content.

Pilbara expansion

The expansion of the Pilbara to 283 Mt/a by the end of 2013 remains on track. On 8 February 2012, Rio Tinto committed a further $1.2 billion (Rio Tinto share $700 million) for Cape Lambert port and rail early works needed for the proposed capacity expansion to 353 Mt/a. The 353 Mt/a expansion is in final feasibility study, with a final investment decision expected later this year.

On 20 February 2012, Rio Tinto announced a $518 million (Rio Tinto share US$478 million) investment in autonomous trains for the Pilbara rail network. The first driverless train will be launched in 2014, with the AutoHaulTM automated train programme scheduled for completion a year later.

Rio Tinto’s integrated operations will be progressively upgraded as follows:

 

   

230 Mt/a - current operating capacity

 

   

283 Mt/a by end of 2013 - Cape Lambert 53 Mt/a increment (in implementation)

 

   

353 Mt/a by end of H1 2015 - Cape Lambert 70 Mt/a increment (in feasibility)

Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

First quarter saleable iron ore production was 12 per cent higher than the same quarter of 2011 attributable to product mix and a lower strip ratio. In March, the local steel workers union membership at IOC voted to ratify IOC’s proposal for a six year collective bargaining agreement. The agreement provides long term stability for the business with competitive wages supporting attraction and retention in a currently heated labour market.

Commissioning of the first phase expansion project, lifting capacity to 22 Mt/a, continued. The phase two expansion to 23.3 Mt/a is progressing, with first production expected in late 2012.


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Dampier Salt

First quarter production at Dampier Salt was 27 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011 but 24 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2011, due to the impact of three tropical cyclones.

2012 iron ore production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto expects to produce approximately 250 million tonnes (100 per cent basis) from its global operations in Australia and Canada, subject to weather constraints.

COPPER

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Kennecott Utah Copper

       

Mined copper (000 tonnes)

     31.1         -49     -34

Refined copper (000 tonnes)

     40.7         -36     -17

Molybdenum (000 tonnes)

     3.1         -14     +36

Mined gold (000 ozs)

     54         -47     -42

Refined gold (000 ozs)

     100         +1     +15

Escondida

       

Mined copper (000 tonnes)

     68.9         +12     +6

Refined copper (000 tonnes)

     24.7         +7     +10

Northparkes

       

Mined copper (000 tonnes)

     10.4         +12     -3

Palabora

       

Mined copper (000 tonnes)

     9.1         -9     +5

Refined copper (000 tonnes)

     8.7         +2     -9

Kennecott Utah Copper

As previously guided, production of copper and gold in concentrates was lower during the first quarter as mining progressed through lower grade areas of the open pit. During this transition, additional focus has been placed on mining from the higher grade molybdenum dome at the bottom of the pit, partly mitigating the effect on molybdenum production. Lower ore grades are expected to persist through the first half of the year. A 26 day maintenance shutdown at the smelter will occur in the second quarter of 2012 positioning it to take advantage of increasing grades in the second half of the year.

In April, Rio Tinto approved an additional $195 million of capital to complete phase 1 of the Moly Autoclave Project (MAP), bringing the total to $535 million. The increase in capital has resulted primarily from increased labour rates for engineering and construction, higher commodity prices, particularly for steel and copper wire, and an increase in project scope. The facility is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2013 followed by a 12 month period to reach full capacity.

Escondida

Milled production of copper was consistent with the first quarter of 2011. The 12 per cent overall rise in mined copper was due to an increase in ore delivered to the leaching stockpiles.

On 14 February 2012, Rio Tinto announced that it had approved $1.4 billion for two projects to support higher production at the Escondida copper mine in Chile. Rio Tinto’s investment is expected to be funded through the company’s share of Escondida’s operating cash flows.

Grasberg

Freeport is due to release its 100 per cent operating data for the first quarter on 19 April 2012. Based on the latest available Freeport estimates, 2012 production from Grasberg is not expected to reach the amount set in the metal sharing agreement because of planned mine sequencing in areas with lower metal grades. Accordingly, Rio Tinto’s share of joint venture production is expected to be zero for the year 2012.


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Northparkes

First quarter mined copper production rose by 12 per cent compared with the same quarter of 2011 due to higher grades.

Palabora

First quarter mined copper production decreased by 9 per cent compared with the same quarter of 2011 due to reduced slag processed, lower copper recoveries and lower average ore grades.

Ivanhoe

Overall construction of the Oyu Tolgoi copper gold project was more than 77 per cent complete at the end of March. The project remains on track to begin initial production in the second half of 2012 with commercial production of copper concentrate expected in the first half of 2013.

2012 production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto share of mined and refined copper production is expected to be approximately 600,000 tonnes and 320,000 tonnes, respectively.

ALUMINIUM

Rio Tinto share of production (000 tonnes)

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Bauxite

       

Rio Tinto Alcan

     6,978         +9     -8

Pacific Aluminium

     1,862         +12     -3

Alumina

       

Rio Tinto Alcan

     1,592         +16     +2

Pacific Aluminium / Other

     799         +8     +2

Aluminium

       

Rio Tinto Alcan

     520         -12     -13

Pacific Aluminium / Other

     334         -5     -8

Bauxite and alumina

Rio Tinto Alcan’s bauxite production was nine per cent higher than the same quarter of 2011, driven by increased internal refinery and third party demand, notably at Weipa. In spite of heavy rainfall in north eastern Australia in the first quarter of 2012, production at Weipa was seven per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011.

Rio Tinto Alcan’s alumina production was 16 per cent higher than the same quarter of 2011 driven by an improvement in performance at Queensland Alumina where abnormal flooding in early 2011 affected coal quality, impacting production and equipment reliability. Alumar reached nameplate capacity in the first quarter and Yarwun set a new quarterly production record.

Aluminium

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminium production was 12 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2011, primarily reflecting the lockout at Alma where two thirds of the smelter’s capacity has been curtailed.

Reductions in capacity

Rio Tinto Alcan closed the Lynemouth aluminium smelter on 29 March 2012. The closure followed an extensive period of consultation with employee representatives and other stakeholders. This equates to a reduction of annualised production capacity of 120,000 tonnes.

A circuit breaker failure at the Shawinigan smelter at the end of 2011 temporarily reduced capacity at the plant by 50 per cent to 50,000 tonnes. The 280 cells that were shut down were gradually restarted in early February and the process is due to be completed during the second quarter.

On 1 January 2012, Rio Tinto Alcan announced that it had initiated a lockout at the Alma smelter, and shut down two thirds (292,000 tonnes) of the smelter’s capacity to protect the safety and integrity of aluminium operations after labour negotiations failed to reach agreement.


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As a consequence of these actions, a total of 412,000 tonnes of annual capacity remain closed or idled across Rio Tinto’s aluminium operations.

2012 production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto Alcan’s share of bauxite, alumina and aluminium production is expected to be 30.5 million tonnes, 6.9 million tonnes and 2.2 million tonnes, respectively. These numbers exclude the 13 assets that have been identified for divestment or closure.

ENERGY

Coal

Rio Tinto share of production (000 tonnes)

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Rio Tinto Coal Australia

       

Hard coking coal

     1,703         +5     -35

Semi-soft coking coal

     606         -12     -19

Thermal coal

     4,139         +3     -7

Wet weather significantly affected production across Queensland and New South Wales, with further impacts expected from delays in overburden removal.

Hard coking coal production was five per cent above the first quarter of 2011. Significant wet weather in March is expected to affect second quarter production. Kestrel volumes were impacted by a scheduled longwall changeover and lower productivity during the ramp up.

Thermal coal production was three per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011 primarily due to the increase in ownership in Coal & Allied. All New South Wales sites were impacted by the knock-on effect of reduced explosive supplies in the fourth quarter of 2011.

First production from Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique’s Benga mine was processed through the wash plant in February with final commissioning nearing completion. The product is expected to be railed to port at the end of April with the first shipment of hard coking coal from the Beira port expected around the middle of the second quarter.

2012 production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto’s share of Australian hard coking, semi soft coking and thermal coal production is expected to be 9 million tonnes, 3 million tonnes and 20 million tonnes, respectively.

Uranium

Rio Tinto share of production (000 lbs)

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Energy Resources of Australia

     908         +57     -41

Rössing

     1,078         +27     +59

First quarter production at ERA was 41 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2011 due to lower mill head grade. The ore milled was sourced from stockpiled material as the high grade ore located at the bottom of the pit could not be accessed following the record level of rainfall in December 2011. Production in the first quarter of 2011 was significantly impacted by the suspension of processing operations from 28 January 2011 as a result of the extreme rainfall at the Ranger mine over the wet season.

First quarter performance at Rössing was 59 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 27 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2011, mainly due to a combination of improved crushing performance and slightly higher mill head grade.

2012 production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto’s share of uranium production is expected to be between 9.4 and 10.1 million pounds.


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DIAMONDS & MINERALS

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Q1 12      vs Q1 11     vs Q4 11  

Diamonds (000 carats)

       

Argyle

     2,488         +52     +30

Diavik

     963         +19     +0

Minerals (000 tonnes)

       

Borates

     120         +1     +6

Titanium dioxide feedstock

     374         +14     -2

Argyle rough diamond production increased 52 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2011 when operations were affected by heavy rains and flooding, and increased 30 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 when plant shutdowns limited production. Argyle is currently mining slightly higher grade ore in the final open cut deposit. Construction of the underground mine is proceeding and scheduled to be complete by the end of 2013.

Diavik production was 19 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2011, attributable to ramping up of underground operations, improved grades and higher throughput.

On 27 March 2012, Rio Tinto announced a strategic review of its diamond business that will include exploring a range of options for potential divestment of its diamonds interests.

Borates production was slightly higher than the fourth quarter of 2011 when a planned maintenance shutdown slowed production, and was broadly consistent with the first quarter of 2011.

Titanium dioxide feedstock production increased 14 per cent from the first quarter of 2011 when a furnace shutdown at RTFT constrained production. This increase also reflects growth in ilmenite production at QMM following the implementation of dry mining and other improvement initiatives. Production was slightly lower than the fourth quarter of 2011 due to seasonal variations in available power to RTFT’s smelter operations.

On 1 February 2012, Rio Tinto announced that it will increase its stake in Richards Bay Minerals to 74 per cent through the acquisition of BHP Billiton’s 37 per cent interest. The final consideration for the acquisition will be determined through a previously agreed valuation process. Completion is subject to regulatory approvals.

2012 production guidance

In 2012, Rio Tinto’s share of production is expected to be as follows:

 

   

Diamonds - 15 million carats

 

   

Titanium dioxide feedstocks - 1.6 million tonnes

 

   

Borates - 0.5 million tonnes.

OTHER CORPORATE

On 24 January 2012, Rio Tinto moved to a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, having purchased shares that took its interest to 51 per cent.

On 28 March 2012, Rio Tinto announced that it had received a binding offer for its specialty aluminas business from H.I.G. A period of exclusivity has been agreed to with H.I.G. and Rio Tinto will respond to the binding offer following consultation with the relevant European works councils. The terms of the binding offer are confidential.


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MAJOR CAPITAL PROJECTS

Rio Tinto has an industry leading portfolio of organic growth programmes underway. It is focussed on developing current and future tier one businesses that are high quality, long life and cost competitive. Total capital expenditure for 2012 on approved projects and sustaining capital is expected to be $16 billion. Further project approvals, mainly in the Pilbara, are likely to increase this level of investment as the growth programme continues.

Major capital projects, including capital remaining to be spent over the 2012-15 period, are outlined below.

 

Project

   Approved
capital
expenditure
US$ billions
(100% unless
stated)
    Capital expenditure
remaining to be
spent in 2012-2015
US$ billions

(100% unless stated)
   

Production

Iron ore - IOCC phases 1 & 2

     0.8        0.3      +5.3mtpa

Iron ore - Hope Downs 4

     2.1        1.5      15mtpa

Iron ore - Pilbara 283

     9.7        7.0      +53mtpa

Iron ore - Marandoo extension

     1.1        0.8      15mtpa

Iron ore - Pilbara 353 early works

     1.9        1.9      Early approval for +70mtpa

Molybdenum - MAP

     0.5        0.4      30mlb phase 1

Copper - Oyu Tolgoi phase 1

     6.2        2.5      +100ktpd ore

Nickel/copper - Eagle

     0.5        0.2      +17kt Ni, 13kt Cu per annum

Copper - Escondida OGP1

     1.2     1.2   152ktpd mill, access to higher grades

Aluminium - ISAL

     0.5        0.3      +40ktpa

Alumina - Yarwun

     2.3        0.2      +2mtpa

Aluminium - AP 60

     1.1        0.5      +60ktpa

Aluminium - Kitimat

     3.3        2.7      From 280ktpa to 420ktpa

Coking coal - Benga

     0.5        0.1     

+1.6mtpa coking,

+0.8mtpa thermal

Thermal coal - Bengalla

     0.2        —        +2.1mtpa

Thermal coal - Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth

     0.3        0.1      +6mtpa

Coking coal - Kestrel extension and expansion

     2.0        1.0      +1.3mtpa

Diamonds - Argyle underground

     2.1        1.1      20mcpa capacity

 

* Represents Rio Tinto share


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EXPLORATION AND EVALUATION

Pre-tax and pre-divestment expenditure on exploration and evaluation charged to the profit and loss account in the first quarter of 2012 was $531 million compared with $192 million in the same period of 2011. Of this 2012 expenditure, approximately 45 per cent was incurred by the Iron Ore group, 29 per cent by Copper, 9 per cent by Energy, 5 per cent by Diamonds & Minerals and the balance was incurred by Central Exploration. There were no significant divestments of central exploration properties during the first quarters of 2012 and 2011.

Exploration highlights

Drilling and mapping identified bauxite occurrence at several targets in the region around the Amargosa bauxite resource in Brazil.

A 13-hole drilling programme was completed over potash targets in Saskatchewan in joint venture with North Atlantic Potash Inc., a subsidiary of JSC Acron. Full assay results are pending.

Drill testing of targets in the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to intersect encouraging iron ore mineralisation. Analyses received for 2011 drilling confirmed high-grade iron ore intercepts.

At Hathor (Canada) mineralisation was intercepted in two holes of a short drilling programme completed ahead of the spring thaw.

Assays received for drill holes in the Labrador Trough, Canada confirmed encouraging iron ore grades at several targets.

At Tamarack (USA) drilling intersected encouraging nickel-copper mineralisation outside the currently known resource.

At Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh State (India) work commenced to follow-up diamonds and kimberlitic indicators recovered from drainage samples.

A summary of activity for the period is as follows:

 

Product Group

  

Evaluation projects

  

Advanced projects

  

Greenfield programmes

Aluminium    Amargosa, Brazil       Australia, Brazil, Laos
Copper   

Copper/molybdenum:

Resolution, US.

Copper: La Granja, Peru

Copper/gold: Oyu Tolgoi,

Mongolia

Nickel/copper: Eagle, US

   Nickel: Tamarack, US.   

Copper: Australia, Chile,

Kazakhstan, Peru,

Russia, US, Zambia

Nickel: Canada, South

Africa

Diamonds & Minerals   

Diamonds: Bunder, India

Lithium borates: Jadar,

Serbia

     

Diamonds: Canada,

Democratic Republic of

Congo, India

Potash: Canada

Energy   

Coal: Rio Tinto Coal

Mozambique

  

Coal: Bowen Basin,

Australia

Uranium: Canada

  

Coal: Chile,

Mozambique, Namibia

Uranium: Canada,

Namibia, Australia

Iron Ore   

Simandou, Guinea

Pilbara, Australia

   Pilbara, Australia.   

Canada, Democratic

Republic of Congo

Mine-lease exploration continued at a number of Rio Tinto businesses including Kennecott Utah Copper, Northparkes, Energy Resources of Australia, Rössing, Diavik and Pilbara Iron.


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About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

For further information, please contact:

 

Media Relations, Australia / Asia    Investor Relations, Australia
David Luff    Dave Skinner
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620    Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 850 205    Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309
Karen Halbert    Christopher Maitland
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627    Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3063
Mobile: +61 (0) 412 119 389    Mobile: +61 (0) 459 800 131
Bruce Tobin   
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3612   
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 103 454   
Media Relations, EMEA / Americas    Investor Relations, London
Illtud Harri    Mark Shannon
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1152    Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1178
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 503 600    Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 576597
Tony Shaffer    David Ovington
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1138    Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003    Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978
Christina Mills   
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1154   
Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605   
Media Relations, Canada    Investor Relations, North America
Bryan Tucker    Jason Combes
Office: +1 (0) 514 848 8151    Office: +1 (0) 801 204 2919
Mobile: +1 (0) 514 825 8319    Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645

 

Website:

   www.riotinto.com

Email:

   media.enquiries@riotinto.com enquiries.mediaaustralia@riotinto.com

Twitter:

   Follow @riotinto on Twitter

High resolution photographs and media pack available at: www.riotinto.com/media


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Rio Tinto production summary

Rio Tinto share of production

 

                 Quarter                   Full Year                      
         2011      2011      2012                       Q1 12     Q1 12  
         Q1      Q4      Q1           2011           vs     vs  
                                                   Q1 11     Q4 11  

Principal Commodities

                        

Alumina

   (‘000 t)     2,117         2,355         2,391            8,947            13     2

Aluminium

   (‘000 t)     944         961         854            3,824            -9     -11

Bauxite

   (‘000 t)     8,067         9,466         8,840            35,437            10     -7

Borates

   (‘000 t)     120         114         120            504            1     6

Coal - hard coking

   (‘000 t)     1,628         2,638         1,703            8,815            5     -35

Coal – semi-soft coking

   (‘000 t)     691         746         606            2,859            -12     -19

Coal – Australian thermal

   (‘000 t)     4,022         4,436         4,139            17,791            3     -7

Copper - mined

   (‘000 t)     146.3         137.0         119.5            519.7            -18     -13

Copper - refined

   (‘000 t)     95.2         80.9         74.1            334.4            -22     -8

Diamonds

   (‘000 cts)     2,498         2,967         3,518            11,733            41     19

Iron ore

   (‘000 t)     41,876         51,207         45,643            191,767            9     -11

Titanium dioxide feedstock

   (‘000 t)     329         380         374            1,443            14     -2

Uranium

   (‘000 lbs)     1,427         2,218         1,986            7,058            39     -10

Other Metals & Minerals

                        

Gold - mined

   (‘000 ozs)     177         155         78            669            -56     -49

Gold - refined

   (‘000 ozs)     99         87         100            379            1     15

Molybdenum

   (‘000 t)     3.7         2.3         3.1            13.6            -14     36

Salt

   (‘000 t)     1,148         1,931         1,460            6,608            27     -24

Silver - mined

   (‘000 ozs)     1,297         1,257         935            4,924            -28     -26

Silver - refined

   (‘000 ozs)     903         754         817            3,189            -10     8

Throughout this report, figures in italics indicate adjustments made since the figure was previously quoted on the equivalent page. 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 full year figures.


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Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

ALUMINA

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes) (a)

                   

Rio Tinto Alcan

                   

Jonquière (Vaudreuil)

     100     334         340         337         351         348         1,363   

Queensland Alumina

     80     596         676         665         751         766         2,688   

São Luis (Alumar)

     10     82         85         86         86         87         339   

Yarwun

     100     338         301         354         356         364         1,349   

Specialty alumina plants

     100     27         30         27         24         27         108   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto Alcan alumina production

       1,377         1,432         1,469         1,569         1,592         5,846   

Pacific Aluminium - Gove

     100     608         665         619         657         668         2,549   

Other Aluminium - four specialty plants

     100     132         144         147         129         131         552   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total alumina production

       2,117         2,240         2,235         2,355         2,391         8,947   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

ALUMINIUM

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes) (a)

                   

Rio Tinto Alcan

                   

Cameroon - Alucam (Edéa)

     47     7         7         9         9         5         32   

Canada - six wholly owned

     100     328         332         335         338         252         1,333   

Canada - Alouette (Sept-Îles)

     40     57         57         58         60         60         233   

Canada - Bécancour

     25     26         27         26         25         27         104   

France - two wholly owned

     100     89         87         81         78         89         334   

Iceland - ISAL (Reykjavik)

     100     46         47         46         47         47         185   

Norway - SØRAL (Husnes)

     50     11         11         11         11         11         45   

Oman - Sohar

     20     18         19         19         19         18         75   

UK - Lochaber

     100     11         11         12         12         12         45   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Rio Tinto Alcan

       593         597         597         600         520         2,386   

Pacific Aluminium - four smelters

     Various        261         267         272         272         268         1,073   

Other Aluminium - two smelters

     100     90         93         93         89         66         365   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total aluminium production

       944         958         962         961         854         3,824   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

BAUXITE

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes) (a) (b)

                   

Rio Tinto Alcan

                   

Porto Trombetas

     12     453         465         454         455         431         1,827   

Sangaredi

     (c     1,281         1,395         1,461         1,496         1,573         5,633   

Weipa

     100     4,668         5,061         5,403         5,600         4,974         20,732   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Rio Tinto Alcan

       6,403         6,920         7,318         7,550         6,978         28,192   

Pacific Aluminium - Gove

     100     1,665         1,805         1,860         1,916         1,862         7,246   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total bauxite production

       8,067         8,726         9,178         9,466         8,840         35,437   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 12 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

BORATES

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes B2O3 content)

                   

Rio Tinto Minerals - borates

     100     120         144         127         114         120         504   

COAL – hard coking

                   

Rio Tinto Coal Australia (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Hail Creek Coal

     82     854         1,457         1,906         1,761         1,403         5,979   

Kestrel Coal

     80     774         318         867         877         300         2,836   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total hard coking coal production

       1,628         1,775         2,774         2,638         1,703         8,815   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

COAL – semi-soft coking

                   

Rio Tinto Coal Australia (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Hunter Valley (d)

     80     210         318         364         559         374         1,450   

Mount Thorley (d)

     64     334         309         330         186         150         1,159   

Warkworth (d)

     44     147         63         39         1         82         250   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total semi-soft coking coal production

       691         689         733         746         606         2,859   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

COAL – thermal

                   

Rio Tinto Coal Australia (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Bengalla (d)

     32     453         406         393         377         450         1,629   

Blair Athol Coal

     71     521         414         471         649         375         2,055   

Clermont

     50     595         1,032         484         790         629         2,901   

Hunter Valley (d)

     80     1,721         2,157         2,145         1,816         1,679         7,839   

Kestrel Coal

     80     86         30         84         61         42         261   

Mount Thorley (d)

     64     178         136         311         175         343         801   

Warkworth (d)

     44     468         583         686         568         623         2,304   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total thermal coal production

       4,022         4,758         4,575         4,436         4,139         17,791   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 13 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COPPER

                   

Mine production (‘000 tonnes) (b)

                   

Bingham Canyon

     100     60.4         45.6         41.9         47.1         31.1         195.0   

Escondida

     30     61.7         56.1         44.7         65.3         68.9         227.7   

Grasberg - Joint Venture (e)

     40     5.0         5.0         1.6         5.3         0.0         16.9   

Northparkes

     80     9.3         9.7         10.6         10.7         10.4         40.3   

Palabora

     58     10.0         10.8         10.5         8.6         9.1         39.9   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total mine production

       146.3         127.2         109.3         137.0         119.5         519.7   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Refined production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Escondida

     30     23.2         22.2         17.2         22.4         24.7         85.0   

Kennecott Utah Copper

     100     63.5         57.7         45.2         48.8         40.7         215.3   

Palabora

     58     8.5         10.0         5.9         9.6         8.7         34.0   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total refined production

       95.2         89.9         68.3         80.9         74.1         334.4   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

DIAMONDS

                   

Production (‘000 carats)

                   

Argyle

     100     1,641         1,580         2,302         1,918         2,488         7,441   

Diavik

     60     812         1,074         1,160         961         963         4,006   

Murowa

     78     45         80         72         88         66         285   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total diamond production

       2,498         2,733         3,534         2,967         3,518         11,733   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

GOLD

                   

Mine production (‘000 ounces) (b)

                   

Barneys Canyon

     100     0.4         0.4         0.4         0.8         0.0         2.0   

Bingham Canyon

     100     101         100         92         92         54         384   

Escondida

     30     11         10         6         8         8         37   

Grasberg - Joint Venture (e)

     40     48         41         53         36         0         178   

Northparkes

     80     15         15         16         16         15         61   

Palabora

     58     2         2         2         2         2         8   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total mine production

       177         168         169         155         78         669   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Refined production (‘000 ounces)

                   

Kennecott Utah Copper

     100     99         105         88         87         100         379   


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 14 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

IRON ORE & IRON

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes) (b)

                   

Hamersley - six wholly owned mines

     100     26,956         31,235         30,908         32,426         28,638         121,525   

Hamersley - Channar

     60     1,483         1,752         1,688         1,687         1,592         6,609   

Hamersley - Eastern Range

     (f     1,974         2,142         2,587         2,682         2,155         9,385   

Hope Downs

     50     3,394         4,099         4,237         4,140         4,048         15,870   

Iron Ore Company of Canada

     59     1,495         1,958         2,421         2,028         1,672         7,902   

Robe River

     53     6,574         7,665         7,994         8,243         7,539         30,476   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total production

       41,876         48,851         49,834         51,207         45,643         191,767   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Breakdown: Pilbara Blend Lump

       10,731         12,412         12,819         12,826         11,299         48,789   

 Pilbara Blend Fines

       13,898         16,326         17,332         17,600         15,852         65,156   

 Robe Valley Lump

       1,094         1,324         1,420         1,265         1,439         5,103   

 Robe Valley Fines

       2,370         2,910         3,015         3,038         2,754         11,333   

 Yandicoogina Fines (HIY)

       12,288         13,920         12,829         14,449         12,628         53,486   

 IOC Pellets

       0         762         1,111         933         306         2,806   

 IOC Concentrates

       1,495         1,197         1,309         1,095         1,366         5,096   

MOLYBDENUM

                   

Mine production (‘000 tonnes) (b)

                   

Bingham Canyon

     100     3.7         4.3         3.4         2.3         3.1         13.6   

SALT

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Dampier Salt

     68     1,148         1,732         1,797         1,931         1,460         6,608   

SILVER

                   

Mine production (‘000 ounces) (b)

                   

Bingham Canyon

     100     777         788         668         743         517         2,976   

Escondida

     30     392         349         236         320         287         1,298   

Grasberg - Joint Venture (e)

     40     5         4         33         41         0         83   

Others

     —          123         140         151         153         131         566   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total mine production

       1,297         1,281         1,088         1,257         935         4,924   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Refined production (‘000 ounces)

                   

Kennecott Utah Copper

     100     903         868         664         754         817         3,189   

TITANIUM DIOXIDE FEEDSTOCK

                   

Production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium

     100     329         352         381         380         374         1,443   


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 15 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto share of production

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

URANIUM

                   

Production (‘000 lbs U3O8 )

                   

Energy Resources of Australia

     68     577         163         1,532         1,538         908         3,810   

Rössing

     69     851         877         841         679         1,078         3,248   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto total uranium production

       1,427         1,040         2,373         2,218         1,986         7,058   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Production data notes

 

(a) On 17 October 2011, Rio Tinto announced a reorganization of its aluminium assets into three business areas, Rio Tinto Alcan, Pacific Aluminium and Other Aluminium.

 

(b) 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 pellets.

 

(c) Rio Tinto has a 22.95% shareholding in the Sangaredi mine but receives 45.0% of production under the partnership agreement.

 

(d) Rio Tinto’s interest in these mines is held through Coal & Allied Industries Ltd; Rio Tinto increased its interest in Coal & Allied from 75.7% to 80.0% with effect from 16 December 2011. Production data reflect the increased shareholding from that date.

 

(e) Through a joint venture agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), Rio Tinto is entitled to 40% of additional material mined as a consequence of expansions and developments of the Grasberg facilities since 1998. Based on the latest available estimates, 2012 production from Grasberg is not expected to exceed the metal attributable to PT Freeport Indonesia per the joint venture agreement for the year 2012. Accordingly, Rio Tinto’s share of joint venture production is expected to be zero for the year 2012.

 

(f) Rio Tinto’s share of production includes 100% of the production from 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.

The Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012.

Rio Tinto’s interests in the Colowyo mine and the Talc business were sold in 2011. No data for these operations are included in the Share of Production table.


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 16 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

ALUMINIUM (a)

                   

Rio Tinto Alcan - Bauxite

                   

Bauxite production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Australia

                   

Weipa mine - Queensland

     100.0     4,668         5,061         5,403         5,600         4,974         20,732   

Brazil

                   

Porto Trombetas (MRN) mine

     12.0     3,779         3,872         3,786         3,788         3,592         15,224   

Guinea

                   

Sangaredi mine (b)

     23.0     2,846         3,099         3,248         3,324         3,497         12,517   

Rio Tinto Alcan share of bauxite shipments

                   

Share of bauxite shipments (‘000 tonnes)

       6,287         7,012         7,268         7,565         7,268         28,133   

 

(a) On 17 October 2011, Rio Tinto announced the reorganization of its aluminium assets. The three sections below show the assets under Rio Tinto Alcan, Pacific Aluminium and Other Aluminium.
(b) Rio Tinto has a 22.95% shareholding in the Sangaredi mine but receives 45.0% of production under the partnership agreement.

 

Rio Tinto Alcan - Smelter-Grade Alumina

                   

Alumina production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Australia

                   

Queensland Alumina Refinery - Queensland

     80.0     745         845         831         939         957         3,360   

Yarwun refinery - Queensland

     100.0     338         301         354         356         364         1,349   

Brazil

                   

São Luis (Alumar) refinery

     10.0     821         846         855         863         869         3,385   

Canada

                   

Jonquière (Vaudreuil) refinery - Quebec (a)

     100.0     334         340         337         351         348         1,363   

 

(a) Jonquière’s (Vaudreuil’s) production shows smelter grade alumina only and excludes hydrate produced and used for Specialty Alumina.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 17 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

ALUMINIUM (continued)

                   

Rio Tinto Alcan - Specialty Alumina

                   

Specialty alumina production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Canada

                   

Jonquière (Vaudreuil) plant - Quebec

     100.0     27         30         27         24         27         108   

Rio Tinto Alcan - Primary Aluminium

                   

Primary aluminium production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Cameroon

                   

Alucam (Edéa) smelter

     46.7     15         15         19         20         10         69   

Canada

                   

Alma smelter - Quebec

     100.0     108         107         109         111         37         434   

Alouette (Sept-Îles) smelter - Quebec

     40.0     142         143         146         150         149         582   

Arvida smelter - Quebec

     100.0     43         44         44         45         44         176   

Bécancour smelter - Quebec

     25.1     102         107         104         102         106         414   

Grande-Baie smelter - Quebec

     100.0     55         56         56         56         56         223   

Kitimat smelter - British Columbia

     100.0     41         41         42         44         45         168   

Laterrière smelter - Quebec

     100.0     57         59         59         59         58         234   

Shawinigan smelter - Quebec

     100.0     24         25         25         23         12         97   

France

                   

Dunkerque smelter

     100.0     65         62         56         52         64         235   

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne smelter

     100.0     24         25         25         26         25         99   

Iceland

                   

ISAL (Reykjavik) smelter

     100.0     46         47         46         47         47         185   

Norway

                   

SØRAL (Husnes) smelter

     50.0     22         22         22         23         23         89   

Oman

                   

Sohar smelter

     20.0     92         93         94         94         92         373   

United Kingdom

                   

Lochaber smelter

     100.0     11         11         12         12         12         45   

Rio Tinto Alcan share of metal sales

                   

Share of primary aluminium sales (‘000 tonnes) (a)

  

    706         756         737         729         656         2,927   

 

(a) Restated to reflect the reorganization of Rio Tinto aluminium assets announced on 17 October 2011.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


LOGO

 

Continues   Page 18 of 26                

 

Rio Tinto operational data

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto
     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

ALUMINIUM (continued)

                   

Pacific Aluminium - Bauxite

                   

Bauxite Production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Australia

                   

Gove mine - Northern Territory (a)

     100     1,665         1,805         1,860         1,916         1,862         7,246   

Pacific Aluminium - Smelter-Grade Alumina

                   

Alumina production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Australia

                   

Gove refinery - Northern Territory, (a)

     100     608         665         619         657         668         2,549   

Pacific Aluminium - Primary Aluminium

                   

Primary aluminium production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

Australia

                   

Bell Bay smelter - Tasmania (a)

     100.0     45         45         45         46         46         181   

Boyne Island smelter - Queensland (a)

     59.4     137         139         140         142         141         558   

Tomago smelter - New South Wales (a)

     51.6     130         135         137         137         136         539   

New Zealand

                   

Tiwai Point smelter (a)

     79.4     86         89         91         91         86         357   

 

(a) Rio Tinto’s interest in these assets was transferred out of Rio Tinto Alcan, in late 2011, into Pacific Aluminium.

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto
Other Aluminium - Specialty Alumina                    

Specialty alumina production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

France

                   

Beyrède plant (a)

     100.0     7         6         6         6         6         25   

Gardanne plant (a)

     100.0     111         123         128         108         113         470   

La Bâthie plant (a)

     100.0     7         7         7         8         6         29   

Germany

                   

Teutschenthal plant (a)

     100.0     6         8         7         7         6         28   

Other Aluminium - Primary Aluminium

                   

Primary aluminium production (‘000 tonnes)

                   

United Kingdom

                   

Lynemouth smelter (a) (b)

     100.0     41         44         45         38         15         168   

USA

                   

Sebree smelter - Kentucky (a)

     100.0     49         49         48         51         51         197   

 

(a) Rio Tinto’s interest in these assets was transferred out of Rio Tinto Alcan in late 2011, while the company investigates divestment options.
(b) Rio Tinto closed the Lynemouth aluminium smelter on 29 March 2012, following an extensive period of consultation with employee representatives.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto
     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

BORATES

                   

Rio Tinto Minerals - borates

     100.0                 

California, US and Argentina

                   

Borates (‘000 tonnes) (a)

       120         144         127         114         120         504   

 

(a)

Production is expressed as B2O3 content.

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto

COAL

                   

Rio Tinto Coal Australia

                   

Bengalla mine (a)

     32.0                 

New South Wales

                   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       1,494         1,340         1,299         1,234         1,407         5,368   

Blair Athol Coal mine

     71.2                 

Queensland

                   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       731         582         661         911         526         2,885   

Clermont Coal mine

     50.1                 

Queensland

                   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       1,187         2,060         966         1,577         1,255         5,790   

Hail Creek Coal mine

     82.0                 

Queensland

                   

Hard coking coal (‘000 tonnes)

       1,042         1,776         2,325         2,148         1,711         7,291   

Hunter Valley Operations (a)

     80.0                 

New South Wales

                   

Semi-soft coking coal (‘000 tonnes)

       277         419         481         729         468         1,906   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       2,274         2,849         2,833         2,376         2,098         10,332   

Kestrel Coal mine (b)

     80.0                 

Queensland

                   

Hard coking coal (‘000 tonnes)

       968         398         1,084         1,096         375         3,545   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       108         37         106         76         52         326   

Mount Thorley Operations (a)

     64.0                 

New South Wales

                   

Semi-soft coking coal (‘000 tonnes)

       552         510         545         316         234         1,922   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       294         225         514         285         535         1,319   

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto
     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COAL (continued)

                   

Warkworth mine (a)

     44.5                 

New South Wales

                   

Semi-soft coking coal (‘000 tonnes)

       349         150         93         3         184         594   

Thermal coal (‘000 tonnes)

       1,112         1,385         1,631         1,327         1,402         5,454   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total hard coking coal production (‘000 tonnes)

       2,009         2,174         3,409         3,244         2,087         10,836   

Total semi-soft coking coal production (‘000 tonnes)

  

    1,178         1,079         1,118         1,048         886         4,422   

Total thermal coal production (‘000 tonnes)

       7,200         8,479         8,009         7,786         7,275         31,474   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total coal production (‘000 tonnes)

       10,387         11,731         12,537         12,077         10,247         46,732   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total coal sales (‘000 tonnes)

       10,607         11,669         11,687         12,763         10,140         46,726   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Rio Tinto Coal Australia share

                   

Share of hard coking coal sales (‘000 tonnes) (b)

  

    1,644         1,880         2,253         2,904         2,006         8,681   

Share of semi-soft coking coal sales (‘000 tonnes) (c)

  

    703         609         795         779         597         2,887   

Share of thermal coal sales (‘000 tonnes) (c)

       4,095         4,716         4,300         4,613         3,897         17,723   

 

(a) Rio Tinto’s interest in these mines is held through Coal & Allied Industries Ltd; Rio Tinto increased its interest in Coal & Allied from 75.7% to 80.0% with effect from 16 December 2011.
(b) Kestrel produces hard coking coal and thermal coal through its mining operations. These coals may be blended at ports; blended coal sales are included in hard-coking coal sales.
(c) Sales relate only to coal mined by the operations and exclude traded coal.

 

Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto Rio Tinto

US Coal

                   

Colowyo mine (b)

     0.0                 

Colorado, US

                   

Thermal coal production (‘000 tonnes)

       492         339         721         387         —           1,939   

 

(a) Rio Tinto sold its 100% interest in Colowyo with an effective date of 1 December 2011. Production is shown up to that date.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COPPER & GOLD

                   

Escondida

     30.0                 

Chile

                   

Sulphide ore to concentrator (‘000 tonnes)

  

    15,993         16,399         12,029         18,663         16,449         63,083   

Average copper grade (%)

       1.15         1.06         0.97         0.97         1.14         1.04   

Mill production (metals in concentrates):

                   

Contained copper (‘000 tonnes)

       153.1         141.2         91.9         144.3         153.1         530.5   

Contained gold (‘000 ounces)

       38         35         21         28         26         122   

Contained silver (‘000 ounces)

       1,308         1,164         786         1,068         955         4,327   

Recoverable copper in ore stacked for leaching (‘000 tonnes) (a)

  

    52         46         57         73         77         229   

Refined production from leach plants:

                   

Copper cathode production (‘000 tonnes)

  

    77         74         57         75         82         283   

 

(a) The calculation of copper in material mined for leaching is based on ore stacked at the leach pad.

 

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

                   

Grasberg mine (a)

  0.0% (40% of the expansion)               

Papua, Indonesia

                   

Ore treated (‘000 tonnes)

       19,998         20,024         14,006         6,610         19,742         60,638   

Average mill head grades:

                   

Copper (%)

       0.77         0.77         0.90         0.65         0.65         0.79   

Gold (g/t)

       0.89         0.79         1.14         1.09         0.84         0.93   

Silver (g/t)

       2.38         2.20         2.86         2.33         2.26         2.43   

Production of metals in concentrates:

                   

Copper in concentrates (‘000 tonnes)

       133.7         132.5         111.2         37.2         108.8         414.5   

Gold in concentrates (‘000 ounces)

       473         406         421         189         415         1,489   

Silver in concentrates (‘000 ounces)

       1,168         1,093         1,007         319         811         3,587   

Sales of payable metals in concentrates: (b)

                   

Copper in concentrates (‘000 tonnes)

       127.2         129.4         116.4         27.6         110.5         400.5   

Gold in concentrates (‘000 ounces)

       476         396         438         130         446         1,439   

Silver in concentrates (‘000 ounces)

       905         838         832         195         662         2,770   

 

(a) Through a joint venture agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), Rio Tinto is entitled to 40% of additional material mined as a consequence of expansions and developments of the Grasberg facilities since 1998. The 1Q 2012 results show the forecast from FCX’s most recent five-year plan, which does not reflect work interruptions and the temporary suspension of operations in 1Q 2012, because FCX is not releasing its actual 100% operating data for 1Q 2012 until the release of its 2012 first-quarter results on 19 April 2012.
(b) Net of smelter deductions.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COPPER & GOLD (continued)

                   

Kennecott Utah Copper

                   

Barneys Canyon mine (a)

     100.0                 

Utah, US

                   

Gold produced (‘000 ounces)

       0.4         0.4         0.4         0.8         0.0         2.0   

Bingham Canyon mine

     100.0                 

Utah, US

                   

Ore treated (‘000 tonnes)

       13,600         13,747         12,230         13,554         11,843         53,131   

Average ore grade:

                   

Copper (%)

       0.51         0.38         0.39         0.43         0.32         0.43   

Gold (g/t)

       0.33         0.30         0.31         0.32         0.22         0.32   

Silver (g/t)

       2.24         2.21         2.23         3.30         2.34         2.50   

Molybdenum (%)

       0.046         0.050         0.043         0.039         0.046         0.045   

Copper concentrates produced (‘000 tonnes)

  

    240         170         176         216         152         802   

Average concentrate grade (% Cu)

       25.1         26.5         23.7         21.6         20.2         24.2   

Production of metals in copper concentrates:

                   

Copper (‘000 tonnes) (b)

       60.4         45.6         41.9         47.1         31.1         195.0   

Gold (‘000 ounces)

       101         100         92         92         54         384   

Silver (‘000 ounces)

       777         788         668         743         517         2,976   

Molybdenum concentrates produced (‘000 tonnes):

  

    6.9         8.0         6.4         4.5         6.0         25.7   

Molybdenum in concentrates (‘000 tonnes)

  

    3.7         4.3         3.4         2.3         3.1         13.6   

 

(a) Mining operations ceased in the first quarter of 2002. Gold continues to be recovered from leach pads.
(b) Includes a small amount of copper in precipitates.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COPPER & GOLD (continued)

                   

Kennecott smelter & refinery

     100.0                 

Copper concentrates smelted (‘000 tonnes)

       264         205         167         241         188         877   

Copper anodes produced (‘000 tonnes) (a)

       70.1         48.3         34.5         49.8         40.0         202.7   

Production of refined metal:

                   

Copper (‘000 tonnes)

       63.5         57.7         45.2         48.8         40.7         215.3   

Gold (‘000 ounces) (b)

       99         105         88         87         100         379   

Silver (‘000 ounces) (b)

       903         868         664         754         817         3,189   

Northparkes Joint Venture

     80.0                 

New South Wales, Australia

                   

Ore treated (‘000 tonnes)

       1,302         1,330         1,439         1,463         1,352         5,532   

Average ore grades:

                   

Copper (%)

       0.97         0.97         1.03         1.04         1.08         1.00   

Gold (g/t)

       0.56         0.55         0.55         0.57         0.57         0.56   

Copper concentrates produced (‘000 tonnes)

       33.4         33.8         39.7         39.7         37.9         146.6   

Contained copper in concentrates:

                   

Saleable production (‘000 tonnes)

       11.6         12.1         13.3         13.4         13.0         50.4   

Sales (‘000 tonnes) (a)

       5.4         8.7         8.4         15.2         8.6         37.8   

Contained gold in concentrates:

                   

Saleable production (‘000 ounces)

       18.5         18.3         19.4         19.8         18.4         76.0   

Sales (‘000 ounces) (a)

       8.8         13.5         12.5         24.3         12.6         59.1   

 

(a) Rio Tinto’s 80% share of material from the Joint Venture.

 

 

Rio Tinto percentage interest shown above is at 31 March 2012. The data represent full production and sales on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated.


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Rio Tinto operational data

 

     Rio Tinto     1Q      2Q      3Q      4Q      1Q      Full Year  
     interest     2011      2011      2011      2011      2012      2011  

COPPER & GOLD (continued)

                   

Palabora

     57.7                 

Palabora mine

                   

South Africa

                   

Ore treated (‘000 tonnes)

       2,845         2,964         3,133         2,845         2,921         11,787   

Average ore grade: copper (%)

       0.66         0.65         0.63         0.63         0.60         0.64   

Copper concentrates produced (‘000 tonnes)

       58.4         61.2         58.2         50.1         51.8         227.9   

Average concentrate grade: copper (%)

       29.5         30.7         31.2         29.9         30.4         30.3   

Copper in concentrates (‘000 tonnes)

       17.3         18.7         18.1         15.0         15.7         69.1   

Palabora smelter/refinery

                   

New concentrate smelted on site (‘000 tonnes)

  

    62.3         62.6         45.4         60.4         56.1         230.7   

New copper anodes produced (‘000 tonnes)

       14.7         18.3         10.8         15.7         14.7         59.4   

Refined new copper produced (‘000 tonnes)

       14.8         17.3         10.3         16.6         15.0         59.0   

Gold in Anode Slimes (‘000 ounces)