Rio races on

Rio races on

Rio Tinto,the world’s second-largest iron ore producer, maintained plans to increase production in late 2012 as many mining companies scaled back operations to combat higher costs and falling prices.

The company’s iron ore output jumped 5 percent in the third quarter of 2012 as mines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region achieved a quarterly record of 63 million tonnes.

While Rio Tinto confirmed in October that the company was cutting more costs, it upheld plans to increase iron ore production in anticipation of strong demand.

“Significant stimulus efforts have been announced in China, the US and Europe, but it’s uncertain exactly when we will see the impact of these on our markets,” Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto’s CEO at the time, said. “Given this, and the considerable price fluctuations in recent times, we are somewhat more cautious on the outlook over the next few quarters.”

Still, the company advanced plans to expand production capacity in the Pilbara region to 283 million tonnes annually by the end of 2013 and to more than 350 million tonnes by mid-2015.

Sandvik Mining