Rio Tinto says coal, aluminium ops to face bulk of cost cuts

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:28pm EST

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY Nov 29 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto said its coal and aluminium operations would bear the brunt of $5 billion in targeted cost cuts over the next two years.

Rio, in an investor update, said it was aiming to cut more than $5 billion of operating and support costs by the end of 2014, and would cut spending on exploration and evaluation projects by $1 billion over the rest of 2012 and 2013.

The company is focusing on its lucrative iron ore operations in Western Australia, where it now expects to ramp up production to 360 million tonnes per year by 2015, up from a previously estimated 353 million tonnes/year.