Rio Tinto second quarter 2008 operations review

Commenting on the second quarter’s production results, chief executive Tom Albanese said: “These strong results show that we are continuing to expand to meet rapid demand growth in the developing world. We have set quarterly production records for iron ore, mined copper and alumina, thanks to increasing investment in growth projects and a management commitment to deliver more tonnes faster, while maintaining our focus on safety and costs.

“The integration of Alcan is proceeding to plan and the business continues to perform well. I am particularly pleased to see how swiftly our Australian coal operations recovered from the first quarter floods.

“Chinese GDP is continuing to grow at around ten per cent per annum, demand is strong while supply remains constrained. Fundamentals, not financial speculation, are driving the record prices we are realising across aluminium, copper, iron ore and coal and we see the same trends continuing into the future.”

. Record quarterly global production of iron ore, up 13 per cent on the second quarter of 2007, recovering some of the shortfall from the cyclones in the first quarter.

. Record quarterly iron ore production of 48 million tonnes in Australia, up 14 per cent (on a 100 per cent basis) compared with the second quarter of 2007, as the iron ore operations continue to expand their capacity.

. Weighted average iron ore price increase of 85.7 per cent negotiated with Asian customers for 2008 contract shipments from the Pilbara.

. Record quarterly mined copper production (for existing operations), up 15 per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2007.

. Rio Tinto Alcan continues to perform well with bauxite production up 100 per cent, alumina up by 231 per cent and aluminium up by 374 per cent, compared with the second quarter of 2007, reflecting the acquisition of Alcan in the fourth quarter of 2007. On a proforma basis the respective increases for bauxite, alumina and aluminium were 11 per cent, nine per cent and one per cent.

. The Sohar aluminium smelter in Oman began operating in June, on time and on budget, with first hot metal produced during the same month.

. Australian thermal and coking coal production were up by 15 per cent and 25 per cent on the second quarter of 2007, recovering well from the heavy rainfall experienced in the first quarter.

. Strong performance from the minerals businesses with borates production up 18 per cent and titanium dioxide feedstocks ten per cent higher than the second quarter of 2007.

. Agreement signed to sell the Kintyre uranium property in Western Australia for $495 million, as part of the Group’s overall $15 billion divestment target.

All currency figures in this report are US dollars, and comments refer to Rio Tinto’s share, unless otherwise stated

About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

Forward-Looking Statements
This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.

Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any representation or warranty (either express or implied) or gives any assurance that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this announcement will be achieved.


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