The escalation of iron ore production among the mining giants in the face of falling prices continued as Rio Tinto reported a 12 per cent jump in output in its first quarter.
However, the production levels for the first three months of the year were actually below expectations due to wet weather at its mine in Pilbara in Western Australia.
The large miners have continued to produce iron ore, despite the falling price, in order to price out smaller producers who cannot compete on scale.
The price of iron ore has been under pressure due to a slowdown in China. It peaked in 2011 at around $190 a tonne and is down 60 per cent since January last year at around $50 a tonne.
Rio Tinto, down 62p to 2812p, reported global iron ore production at 74.7million tonnes, a 12 per cent increase from the same period last year, but a 6 per cent drop from the previous quarter.
Rio is under the spotlight amid rumours commodities trader Glencore, flat at 303p, may make another move. Glencore approached Rio last October about a £100billion merger.
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