Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto Group released operational and financial results for the front half of 2023 late last month.
For the first half of 2023, Rio Tinto produced 25.6 million metric tons of bauxite ore, which was off by 8 percent on the year. The firm chalks up the loss to greater rainfall at its Weipa operations, restricting access to the mine and lengthening the distance from the mine to the shipment area. Equipment downtime also reduced bauxite output at both Gove and Weipa bauxite mines.
In the first half, Rio Tinto shipped 17 million metric tons to third-party buyers, which resulted in US$1.1 billion in revenue for that segment of the company.
Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s alumina production totaled 3.7 million metric tons in 2023’s first half. Production maintained in the period, as operations at Vaudreuil and Yarwun continued steady. However, an unplanned outage at Queensland Alumina Ltd weighed down production over that time.
Rio Tinto saw aluminium production rise by 9 percent for the first half to 1.6 million metric tons. Production was buoyed by the ongoing increase in production at the Kitimat aluminium smelter.
Altogether, Rio Tinto plans to mine between 54 and 57 million metric tons of bauxite ore and 7.4 to 7.7 million metric tons of alumina by year’s end. The firm anticipates smelting 3.3 to 3.7 million metric tons of primary aluminium by the close of 2023.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm elaborated on the half’s results in a press release.
“We have a clear pathway to building an even stronger Rio Tinto and continue to gain momentum in our strategy to set the business up for long-term success. We are making good progress on pursuing our four objectives as we build further momentum in our Pilbara iron ore business, mindful that we need to raise our game across many of our other operations.
“Last week we signed an agreement to form the Matalco aluminium joint venture to enter the exciting and fast growing aluminium recycling industry in North America.”
“We will continue paying attractive dividends and investing in the long-term strength of our business as we sustain and grow our portfolio, while contributing to society’s drive to net zero,” he concluded.