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Rio Tinto places 360Mtpa cap on Australian iron ore output

Rio Tintosaid it has no plans at the moment to expand its iron ore output beyond the 360million-tonnes-per-annum capacity of its rail and port infrastructure in Australia,BusinessDay reported May 5, citing ChairmanJan du Plessis.

The mining giant's global shipments this year is expected tobe 350 million tonnes,and between 330 million tonnes to340 million tonnes in 2017.

"We are not yet fully utilizing that capacity … we certainlyover the next few years plan to fill the capacity," du Plessis said.

Rio Tinto also defended its plan to mine the copper mine, which due to the threatit poses to land in the region that is sacred to Native Americans in Arizona.

"Clearly in that copper triangle there it will create economicbenefits for us and also for the community, particularly in areas with the NativeAmerican Indians where there is up to [70%] unemployment in those communities,"said CEO Sam Walsh said.

There are still between four and six years of reviews beforeResolution is progressed, the departingchief executive said.