Rio Tinto cut its forecast for iron ore shipments this year, citing labor restrictions in its main Australian production region.
The company expects shipments from the Pilbara, a major iron ore producing region in the state of Western Australia, to now be in the range of 320 million to 325 million tonnes by 2021. That is the lower limit of the previous guidance for 325 million to 340 million tons. announced from Melbourne on Friday.
The Anglo-Australian miner said the failure was the result of “modest delays” in the completion of several mining sites caused by the “tight labor market” in Western Australia.
“It has been another difficult quarter from an operational standpoint and, despite improving compared to the previous quarter, we recognize the opportunity to improve our performance,” said Jakob Stausholm, CEO, in a statement accompanying the results of the company’s third-quarter production.
In the three months to the end of September, Pilbara shipments from Rio totaled 83.4 million tons, on a 100% ownership basis, representing a 9% increase over the June quarter and an increase in 2% compared to the previous year. However, the region’s total production during the September quarter, of 83.3 million tonnes, was down 4% from 12 months earlier.