Must-know: An overview of Rio Tinto



Company overview

Rio Tinto is a British-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation. The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom. It has a dual listing structure.

It includes Rio Tinto PLC—a London and NYSE listed company.

It also includes Rio Tinto Limited (RIO). Rio is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Its properties include open pit and underground mines, mills, refineries, smelters, and power stations. It also includes a significant hydropower portfolio and a number of research and service facilities. It owns and operates a few railways, ports, and ships.

Company history

It has been more than 140 years since Rio Tinto was first incorporated as a business. It was incorporated on March 29, 1873. Over time, it expanded through a series of mergers and acquisitions.

Major products

Its major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, gold, industrial metals, iron ore, thermal and metallurgical coal, and uranium. The company is structured into five product groups:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Diamonds and Minerals
  • Energy
  • Iron ore

More than 50% of its revenues are from iron ore. Iron ore’s contribution towards the adjusted earnings is close to 90%. We’ll discuss each of these divisions in more detail later in this series.


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Rio Tinto competes with other major players in the iron ore industry (XME)—like BHP Billiton (BHP), Vale SA (or VALE), and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF). It also competes in other product groups. It competes with companies like Alcoa (AA), Antofagasta, Anglo American, Barrick Gold (or ABX), and Freeport McMoRan (or FCX).

Click here to learn about key indicators in the iron ore industry.


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