SYDNEY, AAP – BHP and Rio Tinto shares have hit record prices and helped the Australian market to a record close.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals thrived on the soaring price of iron ore, which continued to climb above $US200 per tonne.

BHP shares fetched a record $51.82, then closed higher by 3.11 per cent to $51.65.

Rio shares closed up by 4.59 per cent to a record $132.94.

The miners helped the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index close higher by 92 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 7172.8.

The All Ordinaries closed up 94.6 points, or 1.29 per cent, to 7419.8 points.

The miners’ surge made materials shares easily the biggest improver, up 3.35 per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 78.61 US cents at 1626 AEST, higher from 77.67 US cents at Friday’s close.