StockMarketWire.com - Rio Tinto downgraded its annual iron-ore production guidance following damage and disruptions caused by tropical cyclones in the rugged Pilbara region of Western Australia state.

Guidance for Pilbara iron ore shipments was cut to between 333m and 343m tonnes.

In the first quarter, shipments fell 14% on-year to 69.1m tonnes, while iron ore production fell 9% to 76.0m tonnes.

'Our iron ore business faced several challenges at the start of this year, particularly from tropical cyclones,' chief executive J-S Jacques said.

'As a result, and following the continuing assessment of damage at the port resulting from the cyclones and other minor disruptions, 2019 guidance for Pilbara shipments is reduced.'

Bauxite, copper, titanium dioxide and iron ore pellet output all rose during the first quarter on-year, by 1%, 3%, 1% and 5%, respectively.

Aluminium production for the quarter was flat.

'The quarterly operational performance in our other products was solid, generally higher than last year,' J-S Jacques said.

'Our focus remains on safety, delivering our 'value over volume' strategy and allocating capital with discipline, to continue delivering superior returns to our shareholders in the short, medium and long term.'

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