Rio Tinto on Friday reported a 4.7% jump in second-quarter iron ore shipments as deliveries from its key Gudai-Darri project in the Pilbara region offset adverse weather conditions and a labour crunch.
The miner expects increased production volumes and an improved product mix in the second half from its Gudai-Darri operations as it continues to ramp up output.
However, a shortage of skilled labour in the resource-rich state of Western Australia continues to weigh on Rio.
"We are currently experiencing elevated levels of unplanned absences at our Pilbara operations due to COVID-19 case spikes in Western Australia," Rio said in a statement.
The miner is alsofacing broader inflationary pressure and the risk of weaker demand for iron ore from top consumer China as the country tries to balance its zero-COVID strategy and economic growth.
Higher rates of inflation have impacted Rio's underlying earnings, resulting in increased pretax costs of about $400 million in the first half of fiscal 2022, the company said.
The world's biggest iron ore producer shipped 79.9 million tonnes (mt) of the steel-making commodity in the three months to June 30, compared with 76.3 mt a year earlier. It narrowly missed an RBC estimate of 80.2 mt and a UBS estimate of 80 mt.
Rio produced 78.6 mt of iron ore during the quarter, up 3.6% from a year earlier.- Reuters