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Rio Tinto's Jan-Mar thermal coal production rises 12% on year to 1.12 mil mt

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Rio Tinto's Jan-Mar thermal coal production rises 12% on year to 1.12 mil mt

Sydney — Rio Tinto's share of thermal coal production from its remaining assets stood at 1.12 million mt in the January-March quarter, up 12% on the year and 16% from the previous quarter, the company said Wednesday.

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This excludes production from the Coal & Allied assets following its divestment in the second half of 2017.

The rise in output in Q1 was due to production sequence changes at its Hail Creek mine, the company said.

Rio Tinto's only remaining producing coal mines are Hail Creek and Kestrel in the Australian state of Queensland. In March, it announced that it had entered into binding agreements to sell these mines.

It signed an agreement with Glencore for the sale of its entire 82% interest in Hail Creek and 72.1% interest in the Valeria coal development project, both in Queensland, for $1.7 billion.

Rio Tinto also signed an agreement with a consortium comprising private equity manager EMR Capital and Indonesian listed coal company Adaro Energy, for the sale of its 80% interest in Kestrel for $2.25 billion.

The transactions are expected to be completed in the second half of this year. Rio maintained its 2018 thermal coal production guidance of 3.8 million-4.5 million mt, subject to the completion of the sales.

--Nathan Richardson,
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair,