Rio Tinto has hit its full year iron ore target

Rio Tinto’s iron ore mine near Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Image: Aaron Bunch/Getty Images

Rio Tinto has achieved its own guidance for annual iron ore production in the Pilbara.

The 329 million tonnes was very close to its original 330 million tonne target which it revised down to between 325 million tonnes and 330 million tonnes after a slow start to the year.

Chief executive J-S Jacques says the company’s strong operational performance was underpinned by efficiency and maximising cash flow.

“Our disciplined approach remains in place in 2017, with the continued focus on productivity, cost reduction and commercial excellence,” he says.

Here are the latest production numbers.

Source: Rio Tinto

For the full year, Pilbara iron ore shipments were up 3% to 327.6 million tonnes. Production of 329.5 million tones was up 6%.

Fourth quarter production of 85.5 million tonnes was 4% higher than the same quarter of 2015.

“The strong production performance in 2016 is attributable to the ramp-up of expanded mines, operational productivity improvements and minimal disruption from weather events,” the company said in its latest quarterly production report.

The company says its Pilbara shipments in 2017 are expected to be between 330 and 340 million tonnes, subject to weather conditions.

Annual iron ore exports from Port Hedland hit another record high late last year.

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