BHP pulls out in front as Rio Tinto flounders – by Rachael Knowles (National Indigenous Times – July 22, 2021)


BHP is leading the pack in iron ore mining as its competitor Rio Tinto continues to reel from fractured relationships with Traditional Owners in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto has seen a steep decline in their iron ore shipments from the Pilbara, with the mining giant reportedly having shipped 76.3 million tonnes in the June quarter, 12 per cent less than the same period in 2020.

The miner also reported total production was down 5 per cent for the first half of this year. With Rio Tinto behind the eight ball, BHP reported their sellings at $US158.15 a tonne in the first half of the year, ahead of Rio Tinto’s $US154.90 a tonne.

The decline has been attributed to shutdowns, reduced processing plant availability, sustained wet weather and COVID-19 restrictions. But a major factor is likely the severed relationship the mining giant has with Traditional Owners across the region.

“We continue to prioritise engagement with Traditional Owners and cultural heritage management in daily site operations,” the company said in their second quarter production results.

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