Rio Tinto (RIO) is an international mining company listed on both the Australian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
The group is an industry leader in most of the major commodities, including aluminium, coking and thermal coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium.
Rio also has sizable interests in oil, gas and natural gas.
China manufacturing growing again
Iron ore makes up the most significant component of RIO’s business, around 44% of its overall revenue.
Not only have iron prices risen around 19% since the end of June, but the outlook for the mineral appears to be improving.
The iron ore recovery has coincided with data showing a return to growth for China’s manufacturing sector.
On Monday, the HSBC Final PMI returned a reading of 50.8 for September, representing a slight acceleration in manufacturing growth from October’s 50.4 reading.
It was also the third month in a row where China’s manufacturing sector expanded, adding to signs the economy is regaining its footing after a year slowing growth.
Following a poor 1H13, RIO is generating a healthy dose of momentum and is ahead on a number of some of its strategic goals.
Last week, RIO announced that iron ore production capacity will rapidly increase towards its targeted 360 million tonnes a year (MT/a), and at significantly lower cost than originally estimated.
From a base run rate of 290Mt/a, RIO expects to reach its target between 2014 and 2017, with the majority of the increase to be delivered in the next two years.
The miner expects to achieve this by expanding production at existing mines and securing productivity gains.
The costs savings works both ways for RIO – helping to alleviate margin pressures in a weak commodity environment and increase earnings leverage to rising commodity prices.