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Rio Tinto share price lifts after strong quarterly production

The Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) share price has lifted this morning, trading 0.58% higher in early trade after a mixed third-quarter update from the Aussie iron ore miner.

What did Rio Tinto announce?

Solid year-on-year (YoY) and quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) production increases across the majority of its operations are a big plus.

Pilbara iron ore shipments climbed 5% YoY to 86.1 million tonnes (mt) as production edged 6% higher to 87.3mt.

Bauxite production was up 9% YoY to 13.8 mt, while Rio’s aluminium production fell to 789 kilotonnes (kt).

Weaker aluminium levels were due to Rio’s preventive safety shutdown in Iceland and earlier than planned pot relining in its British Columbia site.

A downgrade of its bauxite and alumina production guidance could also worry Rio shareholders.

Rio’s bauxite levels have been revised to 54mt, down from 56mt to 59mt previously.

Similarly, Rio’s alumina forecasts were downgraded to 7.7mt from an 8.1mt to 8.4mt guidance range.

What else did Rio announce?

Rio announced the signing of a key Memorandum of Understanding with China Baowu Steel Group and Tsinghua University.

This is designed to focus on “methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain”.

How has the Rio share price performed in 2019?

It’s been a volatile year for the Rio share price having started at just $76.65 per share back in January.

However, the company’s shares have climbed 18.9% so far this year to $91.13 at the time of writing with a dividend yield of 4.41% per annum.

The Rio share price took a hit in August along with the rest of the ASX Materials sector as US-China trade war tensions ramped up.

Despite posting a half-year profit drop of 6% to US$4.13 billion (A$6 billion), the company’s share price has recovered 6.94% in the last month.

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Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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