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Rio Tinto: Third Quarter 2012 Operations Review

Rio Tinto Alcan’s bauxite production was 13 % higher than the same quarter of 2011, achieving record production levels at Weipa and in Guinea. The increase in production was mainly driven by increased third party demand. Rio Tinto Alcan’s alumina production was 29 % higher than the third quarter of 2011 and 18 % higher year to date than in 2011, as expanded alumina refining capacity at Yarwun came on line from July 2012. First bauxite was injected into Yarwun 2 on 5 July 2012. The Yarwun refinery was operating at 90 % of its nameplate capacity of 3,4 Mt/a in September, having achieved successive record monthly alumina production in July, August and September 2012. The ramp-up is expected to be completed by mid-2013. Pacific Aluminium’s Gove operation achieved record quarterly production of 2,1 Mt of bauxite and 723000 t of alumina, representing increases of 12 and 16 % respectively over the third quarter of 2011. Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminium production was 10 % lower than the third quarter of 2011 and 11 % lower year to date than in 2011. This was largely due to the Alma lockout, where an agreement was reached in July 2012, together with power process issues at the Dunkerque and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne smelters in France. In 2012, Rio Tinto Alcan’s share of bauxite, alumina and aluminium production is expected to be 30,7 Mt, 7,0 Mt and 2,2 Mt, respectively. These numbers exclude the 13 assets that have been identified for divestment or closure. Borates production was 12 % lower than the third quarter of 2011, in response to current market conditions. The sale of Borax Argentina was completed in August. It has historically contributed around 4 % of Rio Tinto Borate production. Titanium dioxide feedstock production was 5 % higher than the third quarter of 2011 and 8 % higher than the first nine months of 2011, reflecting higher production at Rio Tinto Fer et Titane following a furnace rebuild in 2011, and increased attributable volumes at RBM. (10/2012)


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