Latest news updates: Rio Tinto cuts iron ore shipment forecasts on account of labour constraints in Western Australia

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Rio Tinto cut its forecast for iron ore shipments this year, citing labour constraints in its main Australian production region.

The company expects shipments from the Pilbara, a major iron ore-producing region in the state of Western Australia, to now be in the range of 320m to 325m tonnes for 2021. That is at the low end of previous guidance for 325m to 340m tonnes, it announced from Melbourne on Friday.

The Anglo-Australian miner said the miss was a result of “modest delays” to the completion of several mine sites brought about by the “tight labour market” in Western Australia.

“It has been another difficult quarter operationally and despite improving versus the prior quarter, we recognise the opportunity to raise our performance,” Jakob Stausholm, chief executive, said in a statement accompanying the company’s third quarter production results.

In the three months to the end of September, Rio’s Pilbara shipments tallied 83.4m tonnes, on a 100 per cent ownership basis, representing a 9 per cent increase from the June quarter and a 2 per cent rise from a year ago. Overall production from the region during the September quarter, though, of 83.3m tonnes, was down 4 per cent from 12 months earlier.

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