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Rio Tinto coal production up on last quarter

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World Coal,

Rio Tinto’s coal production totalled 2.3 million t in 3Q16, 54.4% and 13.2% higher than in 2Q16 and 3Q15, respectively. This has been reported to mainly be a result of the ramp-up of the Moatize II plant after its start-up in August 2016 and the resumption of the Carborough Downs operations after facing operational challenges in 2Q16.

At Rio’s Australian operations, Carborough Downs production reached 568 000 t in 3Q16, 123.6% higher than in 2Q16, due to the resumption of operations after the geological instability faced in 2Q16, but 22.2% lower than in 3Q15 – largely due to production in July 2016 still being impacted by the operational issues that occurred in 2Q16.

Production at Moatize reached a quarterly record of 1.756 million t in 3Q16, being 40.3% and 32.8% higher than in 2Q16 and 3Q15, respectively, with an increase in both metallurgical and thermal coal production.

Production of metallurgical coal was 31.5% higher than 2Q16 and 16.2% higher than in 3Q15. Production of thermal coal was 56.4% and 70% higher than in 2Q16 and in 3Q15, respectively. During the early stage of the Moatize II plant start-up, a lower proportion of metallurgical coal is expected to be produced compared to thermal coal, as the fines circuit, in which only metallurgical coal is produced, is still being adjusted.

According to the company, the Moatize I plant maintained a stable level of good performance in August and September 2016, reaching a new monthly production record of 588 000 t in September.

The commissioning of the Moatize II coal handling and processing plant was concluded with start-up in August 2016. The ramp-up of production is reported to be progressing well and reached 129 000 t in August and 169 000 t in September.

The ramp-up of the Nacala Logistics Corridor continued as planned, with 2.002 million t being transported on the railway in 3Q16 against 1.655 million t in 2Q16. 21 shipments (2.025 million t) were completed in 3Q16 compared to nineteen shipments (1.567 million t) in 2Q16.

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