Rio Tinto to slash costs, steps up iron ore output
Rio was on track to reach 290 million tonnes a year by the fourth quarter of 2013 and expand capacity to 360 million tonnes by 2015, the company said, adding the project in Western Australia's Pilbara region remained on time and on budget. Rio remained cautiously optimistic about a pick-up in growth in China, its biggest customer, following a recent string of stronger-than-expected economic indicators. "More than a couple months ago, I'm cautiously optimistic about the fact that we're beginning to see green shoots in China," Albanese said.
As it shrinks to focus on its largest, highest-returning businesses, Rio Tinto has been looking to cast off its Pacific Aluminium unit and its diamonds business but has yet to decide how to get rid of those units.
It put the diamonds business on the block earlier this year soon after BHP Billiton, which managed to sell its Ekati diamond operation to Harry Winston earlier this month for $500 million. Harry Winston is a co-owner of Rio's Diavik diamond mine in Canada. Albanese said the sale of its units was still under review.
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