Rio Tinto Reports Mixed 1Q15 Production Results on April 21



Production review

Rio Tinto (RIO) reported mixed 1Q15 production results on April 21. Slightly weaker production in iron ore and aluminum was offset by strong coal and copper production.

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Beats and misses

Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments were slightly weaker than expected at 57.3 million tons (Rio’s share). There were some factors that contributed to this weakness. We’ll take a look at them in detail in a later part of this series.

Copper production was a beat, mainly driven by higher throughput at Kennecott and Escondida.

Coal delivered a beat driven by improved production rates at Kestrel South following the longwall ramp-up, increased semi-soft production at Mount Thorley and Warkworth, and higher production at Hail Creek.

Aluminum production was weaker than expected due to lower production at Kitimat.

Titanium dioxide production was 17% lower than in the first quarter of 2014, as production continued to be optimized to align with market demand.

We’ll look at key production highlights from these segments in detail later in this series.

Rio’s peers

Alcoa (AA) reported its 1Q15 earnings on April 8, which were broadly in line. Freeport McMoRan (FCX) is scheduled to report its 1Q15 earnings on April 23 premarket open.

BHP Billiton (BHP) will report its 1Q15 production results on April 22. Alcoa and Freeport form 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively, of the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME).


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