Rio Tinto's iron ore exports have been hit hard by cyclones

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

Rio Tinto’s March quarter iron ore shipments and production in the Pilbara have been disrupted by cyclones.

Iron ore shipments were 76.7 million tonnes in the first quarter with ship loading paused by cyclones and sections of the rail network out of action after heavy rain.

This was down 13% on the December quarter and flat compared to the same three months in 2016.

Here’s the detail on Rio’s latest production:

Source: Rio Tinto

Heavy rain caused flooding across several sites including the rail network. All operations have now recovered.

Rio says guidance for the full year remains at 330 to 340 million tonnes.

“Despite challenging weather conditions at our West Australian and Queensland operations, we delivered solid production in the first quarter of 2017. Our strategy is unchanged,” says Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques.

“We maintain our disciplined approach to capital management and maximising cash flow, with a focus on managing costs and enhancing productivity across the business. These actions support the delivery of strong cash returns to shareholders in the short, medium and long term.”

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