Rio Tinto enjoys surging iron ore shipments in Q2

Rio Tinto has posted rising iron ore shipments in its second quarter operating report, reflecting a strong environment across the board for the sector.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant said it enjoyed a ‘solid’ Q2, with iron ore shipments increasing by 14% year-on-year to 88.5 million tonnes (Mt), as a result of better weather and improved productivity.

This figure comfortably exceeded analyst expectations and with deliveries up 9% this year-to-date, the miner expects full-year iron ore shipments to be at the upper end of its guidance range of 330 to 340Mt.

“Operational performance was solid across most commodities, rounding out a strong first half performance for the group,” said chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques.

“Our increasingly flexible Pilbara iron ore system continued to perform well,” he continued.

“Our bauxite and copper businesses also delivered strong operating results, demonstrating the success of our ongoing mine-to-market productivity programme, which is increasingly important in an environment of rising cost inflation.”

Rio recently hit the headlines by operating the world’s first fully autonomous freight train, which completed an iron ore shipment from the Tom Price region of the Pilbara to the port of Cape Lambert.