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Rio Tinto increases iron production in fourth quarter

A rehabilitation programme for the destroyed Juukan 1 and Juukan 2 rock shelters historical aboriginal sites has started

Rio Tinto PLC -
Pilbara, WA

Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) has said iron ore production was strong in the three months to end-December, 2020, with gross output from the Pilbara region rising by 2% quarter-on-quarter.

Shipments during the period rose by 3% and for the year overall iron output rose by 1% and shipments by 2%.

Jakob Stausholm, the FTSE 100 group’s new chief executive, said the operations in Pilbara, Western Australia, had performed well in spite of Cyclone Damien and coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stuasholm took over in December following the resignation of previous CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques in September after Rio dynamited two historical aboriginal sites in Pilbara to access iron ore.

Talks to retore trust with the local Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people had made important progress, Stausholm said.

“We are also developing additional measures to strengthen our partnerships with Traditional Owners,” he added in a statement. 

A rehabilitation programme for the destroyed Juukan 1 and Juukan 2 rock shelters has started, said Stausholm, alongside an assessment of ways to protect the area for the future.

“This includes a permanent mining moratorium around the Juukan Gorge area,” said Rio.

The miner added that Bauxite production in the quarter fell by 12% quarter-on-quarter; aluminium rose by 4% while mined copper and titanium dioxide slag production dropped by 4% and 5% respectively.

Quick facts: Rio Tinto PLC

Price: 5854 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £94.77 billion

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