Rio Tinto plc
), recently announced strong operational results for
third-quarter 2013. The company reported a year-over-year
increase in production for majority of its commodities including
borates, mined copper, diamonds, silver, coal and gold. However,
production of certain other commodities like molybdenum, uranium,
alumina and salt plunged during the quarter.
Rio Tinto achieved a new high for iron ore production and
shipments in the third quarter. Iron ore production reached 68.3
million tonnes in the quarter, representing an increase of 2%
year over year, primarily from the contribution of Pilbara. Given
its expansion projects, Pilbara is expected to contribute
significantly in the coming quarters. In September, Rio Tinto
started shipments from Western Australia where the iron ore
capacity was increased to 290 million tonnes per year. In 2013,
the company expects to produce roughly 265 million tonnes of iron
ore from its Australian and Canadian operations.
Rio Tinto expects copper production to increase in the
upcoming quarters due to a fast recovery of the pit wall slide in
April at the Kennecott Utah Copper mine. The mine is expected to
produce 185,000 tonnes of mined copper in 2013. In 2013, Rio
Tinto is expected to produce 590,000 tonnes and 270,000 tonnes of
mined and refined copper, respectively.
We expect coal production to continue increasing in the
quarters ahead, based on the company's growth projects. 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.
Currently, the company has various exploration projects in
regions including Australia, the USA, Chile, Russia, Uzbekistan,
China, Canada, Namibia, Brazil and India. We expect these
projects to translate into increased production and higher
revenues for the company.
Rio Tinto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
stocks to watch out for in the industry include
Denison Mines Corp.
Stillwater Mining Co.
Tahoe Resources Inc.
). While Denison Mines holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Stillwater Mining and Tahoe Resources carry a Zacks Rank #2
DENISON MINES (DNN): Free Stock Analysis
RIO TINTO-ADR (RIO): Free Stock Analysis
STILLWATER MNG (SWC): Free Stock Analysis
TAHOE RESOURCES (TAHO): Free Stock Analysis
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