Rio Tinto may need to update its full-year aluminium production guidance because of US sanctions against Russia.
The global miner on Wednesday said it was already prepared to adjust aluminium production guidance of 3.5 million to 3.7 million tonnes once it has sold two smelters, but that more may be necessary.
“Adjustments may also be made as a consequence of the US sanctions,” Rio Tinto said in a quarterly production update.
It did not say by how much it would need to update guidance.
Russian aluminium producer Rusal is Rio Tinto’s junior partner in the Queensland Alumina refinery and the ASX-listed miner has already said it would declare force majeure on certain contracts because of sanctions designed to punish Moscow for actions that include meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
First-quarter aluminium production was five per cent lower than in the prior corresponding period last year, largely to an ongoing lockout at the Becancour smelter in Quebec and a power incident at the Dunkirk smelter in France.
Pilbara iron ore production was up eight per cent on the same period a year ago at 83.1 million tonnes, while shipments were up five per cent at 80.3 million tonnes.
Mined copper production was up 65 per cent at 139,300 tonnes as output at the Escondida mine in Chile recovered following a labour strike in the prior year.
At 1028 AEST, Rio Tinto’s ASX-listed shares were $1.11, or 1.4 per cent, higher at $79.20 following overnights lift in iron ore and copper prices.