Rio Tinto shipped a record amount of iron ore in the final three months of 2017, helping the mining giant meet its annual target despite having been hit by poor weather and rail system issues earlier in the year.
Rio, according to report by telegraph, said shipments of iron ore, used in steelmaking, jumped 3pc year on year to 90m tons in the final quarter, beating analyst expectations, due to “ongoing productivity improvements”.
This meant it exported 330.1m tons of iron ore from Western Australia in the year as a whole, up 1pc on 2016.
Rio, the second largest producer of iron ore in the world, had previously been expecting shipments to come in between 330m and 340m tons, but cut its forecast in July to 330m tons citing “an acceleration in our rail maintenance program following the poor weather in the first quarter”.
During 2017, it achieved an average price of around $65 per dry metric ton of iron ore, up from the $54 recorded in 2016. It recently said it was producing iron ore at a cost of around $14 per ton. Rio maintained its guidance to ship between 330m and 340m tons this year.