Rio Tinto announces record first half earnings

Record first half underlying earnings1 of $7.8 billion, 35 per cent above 2010 first half

Record first half net earnings1 of $7.6 billion, 30 per cent above 2010 first half

Record first half underlying EBITDA1 of $14.3 billion, 27 per cent above 2010 first half

Record first half cash flow from operations up 31 per cent to $12.9 billion

Capital expenditure of $5.1 billion in 2011 first half, compared with $1.8 billion in 2010 first half, reflecting the ramp up of investment in world class tier one growth assets
Growth programme gathers momentum:

o Pilbara iron ore expansion to 283 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a) on track to complete by end of 2013
o Proposed expansion of Pilbara to 333 Mt/a brought forward by six months to first half of 2015: full approval decision expected in early 2012
o Rio Tinto assumes control of Riversdale and completes acquisition on 1 August: first coal from Benga anticipated by the end of 2011 with substantial growth options ahead
o Rio Tinto increases investment in Ivanhoe to 46.5 per cent: first commercial production from Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia expected by 2013
o First shipment of iron ore from Simandou expected by mid-2015 following Settlement Agreement with Government of Guinea

Share buy-back increased by $2 billion to $7 billion, to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012, subject to market conditions. This will maintain the momentum to date which has seen 44 million Rio Tinto plc shares bought back during 2011 at a total cost of $3.0 billion
Interim dividend of 54 US cents per share declared, in line with the Group’s dividend policy and previous guidance

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) 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.

Contacts:

Media Relations, EMEA / Americas
Illtud Harri
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1152
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 503 600

Tony Shaffer
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1138
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003

Christina Mills
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1154
Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605

Media Relations, Australia / Asia
David Luff
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 850 205

Karen Halbert
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627
Mobile: +61 (0) 412 119 389

Bruce Tobin
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3612
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 103 454

Media Relations, Canada
Bryan Tucker
Office: +1 (0) 514 848 8151
Mobile: +1 (0) 514 825 8319

Investor Relations, London
Mark Shannon
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1178
Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 576 597

David Ovington
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978

Investor Relations, North America
Jason Combes
Office: +1 (0) 801 204 2919
Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645

Investor Relations, Australia
Dave Skinner
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309

Christopher Maitland
Office +61 (0) 3 9283 3063
Mobile +61 (0) 459 800 131


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Website: www.riotinto.com