Profile: Rio Tinto PLC (RIO)
9 Dec 2013
Rio Tinto plc (Rio Tinto), incorporated on December 17, 1959, is engaged in finding, mining and processing mineral resources. The Company’s product group includes aluminum product group, copper product group, diamonds and minerals group, energy product group and iron ore products group. Its products are iron ore, aluminum, copper, diamonds, coal, uranium, gold and industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt). Its iron ore businesses delivered record production and shipments, and its copper business showed a second half recovery in copper volumes.
In January 2012, it acquired 2% of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. In August 2012, Orocobre Ltd acquired Borax Argentina S.A. from Rio Tinto Ltd entities, Rio Tinto Minerals Development Limited and Borax Europe Limited. In September 2012, it sold the North American portion of its Alcan Cable business to General Cable Corporation. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 51% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.,formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines.
Aluminum product Group
The Aluminum product group, Rio Tinto Alcan includes bauxite mines, alumina refineries, and some of the world’s lowest-cost, technologically-advanced primary aluminum smelters. Bauxite is the natural ore used to make aluminum. It is refined into alumina which is smelted into aluminum metal. Its wholly-owned and joint venture bauxite mines are located in Australia, Brazil and Guinea. Alumina (aluminum oxide) is extracted from bauxite via a refining process. Approximately four tons of bauxite are required to produce two tons of alumina, which in turn makes one ton of aluminum metal. Its wholly-owned and joint venture alumina refineries are located in Australia, Brazil and Canada. Aluminum is a versatile modern metal. Light, flexible, non-corrosive and infinitely recyclable, aluminum is one of the widely-used metals. Its markets are transportation, machinery and construction. Its smelters are mainly concentrated in Canada. It also has plants in France, Cameroon, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Copper product group
Copper product group produces copper, gold and molybdenum, and are uniquely positioned to deliver long-term value due to its assets, technology and a keen focus on managing costs and improving efficiency. Copper’s malleability, strength and conductivity make it useful in a broad range of building, construction and electrical applications. Copper is found in nearly every home and vehicle and is a critical element of industrialized world. Gold’s conductivity and non-corrosive properties make it a vital fabrication material in technology, electronics, jewellery, space exploration and dentistry. It has interests in two of the gold resources, at Oyu Tolgoi and Grasberg. The latter contains the gold reserves in the world. Silver has electrical and thermal properties. It is used in many electrical and electronic applications, such as photovoltaic cells, and is the principal ingredient of x-ray film. Silver is also regarded as a precious metal used as an investment and to make jewellery. Molybdenum is a metallic element frequently used to produce stainless steel and other metal alloys. It enhances the metal’s toughness, high temperature strength and corrosion resistance.
Diamonds and Minerals group
The Diamonds and Minerals group consists of mining, refining and marketing operations across four sectors. Rio Tinto Diamonds is one of the producers, active in mining, sales and marketing. Rio Tinto Minerals provides borates, with mines, processing plants, commercial and research facilities. Dampier Salt is one of the producers of seaborne salt. Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium provides titanium dioxide feedstocks. The Diamonds & Minerals group also includes the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea. Diamonds share a role with gold as an important component in jewellery that ranges from top-end jewellery through to more affordable diamond jewellery accessories. Rio Tinto services both established and emerging markets as it produces the full range of diamonds in terms of size and color distribution. Refined borates are used in hundreds of products and processes. They are a vital ingredient of many home and automotive applications, and are essential nutrients for crops. They are commonly used in glass and ceramic applications including fibreglass, television screens, floor and wall tiles, and heat-resistant glass. Salt is one of the basic raw materials for the chemicals industry and is indispensable to a wide array of automotive, construction and electronic products, as well as for water treatment, food and healthcare. The minerals ilmenite and rutile, together with titanium dioxide slag, can be transformed into a white titanium dioxide pigment or titanium metal. The white pigment is a key component in paints, plastics, paper, inks, textiles, food, sunscreen and cosmetics. Titanium metal’s key properties of light weight, chemical inertness and high strength make it ideal for use in medical applications and in the aerospace industry. Other products include high purity iron, metal powders, zircon and rutile.
Energy product group
Energy product group is a seaborne supplier of thermal and coking coal to Asian customers and are one of the world’s uranium producers, serving electric power utilities worldwide. The Rio Tinto Energy product group has operations, exploration and development projects in Australia, southern Africa and Canada. Coal is abundant, relatively inexpensive and safe and easy to transport. It is a supplier to the export thermal coal market. Thermal coal is used for electricity generation in power stations. It also produces higher-value coking, or metallurgical, coal which, when mixed in furnaces with iron ore, produces steel. Uranium is one of the natural energy sources known, used in the production of clean, stable, base-load electricity. After uranium ore is mined, it is milled into uranium oxide - the mine product that is sold for processing into fuel rods for use in nuclear power stations.
Iron Ore product group
Iron Ore product group is a producer supplying the global seaborne iron ore trade. After a decade of rapid expansion in Australia, and more recent growth in Canada, it is well positioned to benefit from the continuing demand in China and other Asian markets. It is driving performance through effective project management and value-adding operational efficiencies. Iron is the key ingredient in the production of steel, one of the fundamental and durable products for modern-day living, with uses from railways to paperclips. Its iron ore mines are located in Australia and Canada.
Rio Tinto PLC
2 Eastbourne Terrace
LONDON ENG W2 6LG