Rio Tinto says it will cap Australian iron ore production at 360mt – by Peter Ker (Sydney Morning Herald – May 5, 2016)

Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis has vowed not to expand the company’s iron ore division beyond 360 million tonnes per year, and defended plans to build a contentious copper mine in the US.

Speaking at Rio’s Australian meeting of shareholders in Brisbane, Mr du Plessis reassured the meeting that Rio would not oversupply the market that is its biggest money-spinner.

Rio has built rail and port capacity to export 360 million tonnes, and will export between 330 million and 340 million tonnes in 2016.

“We are not yet fully utilising that capacity…we certainly over the next few years plan to fill the capacity,” said Mr du Plessis. ‘”We have no plans at the moment at all to extend our infrastructure capacity beyond the 360 million tonnes.”

Rio was also asked about the Resolution copper project in the US state of Arizona, which has been caught up in the US election campaign.

Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders has campaigned against a land deal which gave Rio and its partner in the project BHP access to the land where the mine will be built, with some claiming the land is sacred for indigenous Americans.

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