Rio Tinto plc
) is on track to deliver its increased iron ore commitment. The
company recently started shipping iron ore from the recently
expanded port, rail and mine operations in Australia. Rio Tinto
increased the Western Australia iron ore capacity to 290 metric
tonnes per year in the first half of 2013.
The first iron ore delivery was ahead of schedule as well as
within company budget, strengthening its belief that it will soon
be able to expand the capacity further to 360 metric tonnes per
annum. Rio Tinto is evaluating various alternatives including,
but not limited to, expansion of existing mines and the potential
development of new mines.
Western Australia has been a major source for Rio Tinto's
overall iron ore production. The company has been planning and
implementing various extension and expansion plans in the region.
Apart from this, the company has been eyeing expansions in
various other fronts as well.
In July, Rio Tinto started coal production at the $2.0 billion
Kestrel Mine Extension, near Queensland, which will add 20 more
operational years to the mine. Kestrel South is expected to reach
full capacity by the end of 2014 and produce an average of 5.7
million tonnes per annum over the next 20 years.
During the same month, another milestone was achieved when Rio
Tinto's subsidiary, Oyu Tolgoi, started shipping its copper
concentrate to customers from its copper and gold mine in
Mongolia. The project involved a total cost of $6.2 billion.
With such expansion plans in hand, we expect the company to
achieve better results in the quarters ahead. At the half-year
production levels, the company achieved a record iron ore
production with the production increasing 6% year over year in
the first half of 2013 and shipments rising 4% from the year-ago
Rio Tinto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
mining stocks worth a look include
Avalon Rare Metals Inc.
Denison Mines Corp.
US Energy Corp.
). Each of these carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
AVALON RARE MTL (AVL): Free Stock Analysis
DENISON MINES (DNN): Free Stock Analysis
RIO TINTO-ADR (RIO): Free Stock Analysis
US ENERGY CP-WY (USEG): Free Stock Analysis
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