RIO.AX - Rio Tinto Group

ASX - ASX Delayed Price. Currency in AUD
-3.01 (-2.83%)
At close: 4:10PM AEDT
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Previous Close106.19
Bid113.77 x 0
Ask103.42 x 0
Day's Range102.88 - 104.79
52 Week Range80.47 - 107.99
Avg. Volume1,157,859
Market Cap167.743B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.83
PE Ratio (TTM)12.94
EPS (TTM)7.97
Earnings DateFeb 26, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield4.38 (4.25%)
Ex-Dividend DateAug 08, 2019
1y Target Est60.42
  • Vale Will Keep Paying for Its Dam Disasters

    Vale Will Keep Paying for Its Dam Disasters

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A year ago, I sat with Vale SA’s then-Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman in Davos, sipping lukewarm coffee. He chatted amiably about the next stage of the turnaround at the Brazilian mining giant, unaware that within 24 hours a river of sludge from one of his dams would take 270 lives in the town of Brumadinho. This week, he was among executives and former employees charged with homicide.The disaster on Jan. 25, 2019, a human and environmental catastrophe that’s been compared with BP Plc’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was supposed to be a moment of reckoning. It was, after all, Vale’s second such accident in just over three years. Yet 12 months on, shares in the $70 billion group are back at pre-Brumadinho levels, pointing to something less dramatic. The rebound also suggests investors are struggling to grasp the painful longer-term costs of such accidents for the company and the industry, in the era of stakeholder capitalism.The dam at the Corrego do Feijao mine was a problem from the beginning. It dated back to 1976, when it was started by a company later acquired by Vale. The dam was built over decades, using the tailings, or mining waste. New layers were added on top of old ones, until 2013. Unfortunately, such dams require water to drain out if they are to remain stable; the technical investigation found this one was too steep, and allowed to get too wet. High iron content made it brittle, too.In the end, there was no warning. After heavy rainfall in late 2018, it simply collapsed, releasing 10 million cubic meters of mud – roughly 4,000 Olympic swimming pools – in under five minutes.The timing for Vale was painful. It found itself accused of negligence and worse, just as the miner was emerging from another accident, the 2015 collapse of a dam owned by Samarco Mineracao SA, its joint venture with BHP Group. Schvartsman, a former pulp and paper executive, had stepped into the top job in 2017 vowing “never again.”The market’s immediate reaction was strong. Vale lost nearly a quarter of its value, almost $20 billion. Investors’ calculations of the ultimate cost were then obscured, though, as the hit to supply at the world’s largest iron-ore exporter eventually drove prices of the steelmaking ingredient well above $100 per metric ton.The cost is still unclear. That shouldn’t be startling. BP was still raising estimates for outstanding claims for Deepwater Horizon years after the event. In the end, the British oil major sold more than $70 billion of assets to remain in business; its shares haven’t recovered.The scale and jurisdiction are different here. Still, it’s surprising that Vale’s shares have bounced back.That doesn’t mean that no costs have been priced in. Compare Vale with iron ore-focused rival Rio Tinto Group. Rio’s London shares have risen almost 18% in the past 12 months thanks to surging iron-ore prices. Add in the impact of reinvested dividends, and the total return is more than 30%. The share increase alone implies a gap of some $16 billion with Vale.Some of that sum reflects the impact of lost revenue, given the 93-million-ton hit to production during a year when the price of high-quality Brazilian iron ore fines delivered to northern China averaged more than $100 a ton.The remainder, though, isn’t too far from what Vale itself has already set aside, handed out or had frozen for potential liabilities from Brumadinho: It paid $1.6 billion for reparations and compensation in 2019, and has provisioned $5.4 billion. Some 7.5 billion Brazilian real ($1.8 billion) of assets are frozen by the courts.  The trouble is, that covers mostly first-order costs, like payouts for workers and families, the wider clean-up and some fixes to similar facilities elsewhere. Vale plans to spend $1.8 billion over five years shifting to dry stacking, a safer method to dispose of mine waste. By 2023, it says 70% of its production will use this.The wider impact of Brumadinho and the 2015 disaster on Vale and the industry will be more profound. Risks to tailings dams and other mining installations are already increasing, and there may be more monitoring in some corners. Extreme weather including heavy rainfall is far more frequent, and declining ore grades, or the percentage of minerals in rock that’s dug up, mean more waste to deal with. This coincides with increased concern among shareholders for the environmental impact of investments.Higher bills for more inspections might be manageable for large miners, but what about significantly slower permits, higher costs of closure, or projects that get blocked entirely by disgruntled communities? During a high tide for populism in Brazil and elsewhere, that’s harder than ever to estimate. It’s unlikely Brumadinho will be forgotten by governments and communities as disasters like Mount Polley in 2014 largely were.According to a report by the Church of England Pensions Board, 40 of the top 50 mining companies had made disclosures on their websites about tailings dams as of late December, as requested by campaigners and shareholders. That’s a solid three-quarters of the mining industry by market capitalization, but leaves plenty of laggards. Schvartsman, in the aftermath of Brumadinho, said Vale was a “Brazilian jewel” that could not be condemned because of an accident. His gross underestimation of the seriousness of the situation cost him his job,  and moreInvestors and rivals would be wise not to make the same mistake. To contact the author of this story: Clara Ferreira Marques at cferreirama@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How the Iron Ore Market Works (VALE, RIO)

    How the Iron Ore Market Works (VALE, RIO)

    The market for this essential industrial material tanked in recent years but there are signs it's settling down, with fewer big players in the market.

  • The Iron Ore Party Is Drawing to a Close

    The Iron Ore Party Is Drawing to a Close

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Iron ore had a carousing 2019 — for all the wrong reasons. A fatal dam collapse in Brazil, followed by a tropical cyclone in Australia, battered production and sent prices to their highest level in five years. Early figures from BHP Group and Rio Tinto Group show just how much benefit both have reaped. With supply coming back, Chinese mills under pressure and Beijing’s infrastructure investment looking inadequate to keep the music going, prepare for a more sober 2020.Production figures from BHP on Tuesday, as with Rio Tinto last week, will cheer investors and fuel hopes of one-time payouts. The average price at which BHP sold a metric ton of iron ore in the six months through December was just over $78, more than 40% higher than a year earlier. Considering unit costs that probably hover around an underlying $13 per ton, the level reported for its last financial year, that’s quite a margin — and quite some cash flow. It’s a similar story at Rio.Unfortunately, it’s hard to see how such gravity-defying market levels can hold up. Iron ore futures in Singapore are currently trading above $90. While that’s below July highs, it’s still well above prices touched even after Vale SA’s Brumadinho disaster and Cyclone Veronica, which struck Western Australia in March.Consider supply. Vale, a critical piece of the steel ingredient jigsaw, won’t report fourth-quarter production until February, but third-quarter output was already up 35% on the previous three months, and the Brazilian giant could return to pre-Brumadinho levels by 2021. All three of the big iron-ore suppliers — BHP, Rio and Vale — are working toward incremental though ambitious supply targets. In 2020, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates the three will add 44 million tons — a not insignificant 3% of the year’s projected output. China’s production, meanwhile, has also edged higher.Demand isn’t quite as rosy.Granted, there were some signs of stabilization in the world’s biggest steel producer and consumer at the end of last year. China’s industrial output in December beat forecasts to rise 6.9%, the strongest in nine months and a decent showing even accounting for work brought forward to compensate for an early Lunar New Year. Steel production hit another record last year.The detail is less inspiring, as growth in the world’s second-largest economy cools to its slowest pace in almost three decades. While monetary policy remains helpful, there are signs that private companies are still struggling for funds. Key sources of demand for steel remain weak, from property and cars to manufacturing. Building starts, for example, were up 8.5% in 2019 while completions, an indicator of confidence, increased far more slowly. Even after a phase-one trade deal between Washington and Beijing, heavy tariffs remain in place, weighing on manufacturing. All of that means iron-ore bulls need China to start splurging on infrastructure. Beijing has taken some measures to encourage spending, approving more projects and lowering capital ratio requirements. This isn’t a return to the bumper stimulus efforts of the past, though, judging by indicators such as fixed-asset investment. Local governments are saddled with plenty of debt, which remains a concern. Moreover, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates China’s public investment per capita is almost as high as that of advanced economies, suggesting it’s becoming harder for spending to have an impact.Producers of high-grade ore, like the big three, may also find the premium that local mills will pay comes down as their margins come under pressure.China’s economic priorities — including the size and scope of further stimulus — will be outlined in March, when the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference meet. Miners can expect that, whatever the speed of decline, the only way is down.  To contact the author of this story: Clara Ferreira Marques at cferreirama@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Rio Tinto Releases Fourth Quarter Production Results

    Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said "We finished the year with good momentum, particularly in our Pilbara iron ore operations and in bauxite, despite having experienced some operational challenges in 2019. We are increasing our investment, with $2.25 billion of high-return projects in iron ore and copper approved in the fourth quarter. We also boosted our exploration and evaluation expenditure to $624 million in 2019, further strengthening our pipeline of opportunities.

  • Financial Times

    Iron ore outlook rests on Vale’s tricky rebound

    The Anglo-Australian group — along with rivals BHP and Brazil’s Vale — is generating bucket loads of cash from the continued strength of iron ore. For big producers such as Rio that can mine the material for as little as $15 a tonne, that means windfall profits — and sturdy dividends for investors. Deutsche Bank reckons Rio generated close to $10bn of free cash flow last year.

  • Should We Be Delighted With Rio Tinto Group's (LON:RIO) ROE Of 28%?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should We Be Delighted With Rio Tinto Group's (LON:RIO) ROE Of 28%?

    While some investors are already well versed in financial metrics (hat tip), this article is for those who would like...

  • 3 Potentially Overlooked Large Caps

    3 Potentially Overlooked Large Caps

    Rio Tinto Group tops the list Continue reading...

  • Reuters

    Exclusive: NMDC lined up to mine multibillion-dollar diamond deposit in Madhya Pradesh

    State-owned miner NMDC is poised to win a multibillion-dollar contract to explore and mine diamonds at a large project abandoned by global miner Rio Tinto, a leading local government official told Reuters. Madhya Pradesh has asked NMDC to explore the Bunder deposits, which could contain millions of carats of diamonds, Neeraj Mandloi, principal secretary at the state's Mineral Resource Department, told Reuters on Friday. The state government last month awarded a smaller portion of the deposit to Essel Mining & Industries, part of Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, Mandloi said.

  • Business Wire

    Rio Tinto Increases Donation to Australian Red Cross for Bushfire Relief and Recovery Efforts

    Rio Tinto has donated a further A$750,000 to the Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery efforts that are supporting people affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis. It adds to the A$250,000 Rio Tinto donated to the Red Cross in November, bringing the company’s total donation to A$1 million.

  • Bloomberg

    Rio Tinto Restarts South Africa Mine as Security Improves

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterRio Tinto Group is resuming operations at its South African mine that was shuttered earlier this month because of escalating violence in surrounding communities.The Richards Bay Minerals unit should be back at full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020, Rio said in a statement Monday. The decision was taken after discussions led by the Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal province, aimed at securing stability.RBM employs about 5,000 staff and contractors, and exports titanium dioxide slag, used to create ingredients for products including paint, plastics, sunscreen and toothpaste.Read More: Violent Protests Shut Down Key Rio Tinto Mine in South AfricaRio said Dec. 4 it halted mining operations and temporarily suspended a $463 million expansion project following weeks of protests around the area where the mine is located and after an employee was shot and injured. The demonstrations weren’t related to the company, it said at the time.The company will review the restart of the Zulti South project after operations normalize.To contact the reporter on this story: Liezel Hill in Johannesburg at lhill30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Rio Tinto to Resume Operations at Richards Bay Minerals

    Rio Tinto has today started the process of resuming operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa. This follows discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders focused on securing stability in order to address the issues in the community and provide the stable environment necessary for RBM to resume operations.

  • Should You Buy Rio Tinto Group (LON:RIO) For Its Dividend?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should You Buy Rio Tinto Group (LON:RIO) For Its Dividend?

    Is Rio Tinto Group (LON:RIO) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings...

  • Water around Rio Tinto's Madagascar mine is high in lead, uranium - study

    Water around Rio Tinto's Madagascar mine is high in lead, uranium - study

    Water downstream of a Rio Tinto mine in southern Madagascar contains high concentrations of uranium and lead, potentially endangering local residents who depend on a nearby lake and river for drinking water, a study released on Friday found. Lead, when ingested, can impede the mental and physical development of children, while uranium can cause kidney damage. The study commissioned by southern Madagascar-focused British environmental charity The Andrew Lees Trust found that concentrations of uranium were 350 times higher downstream of the QIT-Madagascar Minerals (QMM) mine than upstream of it, and that lead concentrations were 9.8 times higher.

  • Business Wire

    Rio Tinto Offers Responsibly Produced Aluminium From Pacific Operations

    Rio Tinto is now offering independently certified, responsibly produced aluminium from its smelters in Australia and New Zealand that predominantly use hydro-powered electricity.


    Wall Street Is Finally Getting Bullish About Mining. Here Are 2 Stocks to Buy.

    Wall Street is slowly getting more bullish on mining stocks. Large mining stocks Barron’s tracks are down more than 50% from all-time highs, but the sector has bounced back some in 2019, up about 14% on average. The reason for improved sentiment is linked to iron ore and copper, two key metals for global miners.

  • Business Wire

    Rio Tinto Notes Mongolian Parliament Resolution on Oyu Tolgoi

    Rio Tinto notes the unanimous approval by the Mongolian Parliament of a Resolution that instructs the government to look for ways to improve the implementation of the Investment Agreement of 2009, the Amended & Restated Shareholder Agreement of 2011 and to improve the Underground Mine Development & Financing Plan of 2015.

  • Is Rio Tinto Group (RIO) A Good Stock To Buy?
    Insider Monkey

    Is Rio Tinto Group (RIO) A Good Stock To Buy?

    How do you pick the next stock to invest in? One way would be to spend days of research browsing through thousands of publicly traded companies. However, an easier way is to look at the stocks that smart money investors are collectively bullish on. Hedge funds and other institutional investors usually invest large amounts of […]

  • Apple Buys First Carbon-Free Aluminum from Rio-Alcoa Venture

    Apple Buys First Carbon-Free Aluminum from Rio-Alcoa Venture

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is taking delivery this month of the first batch of carbon-free aluminum produced by a Montreal-based venture, helping move the iPhone maker closer to its greenhouse-gas reduction goal.Elysis, a joint venture between Rio Tinto Group and Alcoa Corp. backed by Apple, uses new technology that emits pure oxygen when producing aluminum. Apple has said in an environment report that 80% of its emissions from an iPhone 8 came during the production phase. The metal is also used in iPads, Macs and Apple watches.“For more than 130 years, aluminum — a material common to so many products consumers use daily — has been produced the same way,” Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple, said in an emailed statement.Rio’s commercial network is handling the first delivery to Apple, a Rio spokesman said in an email.“This is another important step towards zero carbon aluminum and a more sustainable future,” said Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive officer.The metal being shipped to Apple was produced at the Alcoa Technical Center in Pittsburgh.“This first sale is tangible evidence of our revolutionary work to transform and disrupt the conventional smelting process by making a process that is both more efficient and more sustainable,” Benjamin Kahrs, an Alcoa executive vice president and Chief Innovation Officer, said in a statement.\--With assistance from Mark Gurman and Steven Frank.To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Deaux in New York at jdeaux@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at, Joe RichterFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.