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Rio Tinto revises down iron ore shipments for 2016

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Dry Bulk,

Rio Tinto has cut its 2016 iron ore shipment guidance from its Australian iron ore mines to between 325 million t and 330 million t, the company said in its most recent operational review, after port and rail maintenance reduced third quarter shipments.

The company has previously anticipated shipments at the top end of the forecast at around 330 million t.

Despite the slight fall in forecast, Rio’s year-to-date shipments remain ahead of 2015, totalling 239.9 million t – a 3% increase on the first nine months of 2015.

Production also remained strong, with 3Q16 output setting a new quarterly record or 83.2 million t. Production for the first nine months of the year stands at 243.9 million t – a 7% year-on-year increase on 2015.

Guidance for 2017 remains at between 330 and 340 million t, subject to final productivity and capital expenditure plans.

Beyond iron ore, the company reported strong bauxite production, setting both quarterly and year-to-date production records. Quarterly production hit 12.4 million t, 10% up on 3Q15, while nine-month output was 35.6 million t, also up 10% on 2015.

This strong production allowed the company to ship 22 million t to third parties in the first nine months of the year. The company also increased its full-year guidance by 2 million t to 47 million t.

Mined copper production for year to date was 4% higher than 2015 at 409 600 t, despite an 18% fall in copper production at Escondida mine in Chile. Thermal and metallurgical coal production was steady for the year to date.

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