- Mining company Rio Tinto reported a drop in first-quarter iron ore production, but maintained its annual guidance ranges for all of its products.

Output of the key steel-making ingredient from the group's Pilbara operations in Australia in the three months through March fell to 76.4 million tons.

That was down 2% year-on-year and 11% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

Rio Tinto said the fall was driven by above average wet weather at its mines through February and fixed plant reliability.

Labour resource availability and weather challenges disrupted maintenance, while tropical cyclone Seroja impacted mine and port operations in April.

Full-year iron ore guidance, however, remained unchanged.

Shipments of the commodity rose 7% year-on-year, but fell 12% quarter-on-quarter.

'We achieved an overall solid operating performance in the first quarter,' chief executive Jakob Stausholm said.

'We have maintained guidance ranges in all our products, with site teams successfully managing the effects of significant rainfall, in particular at our Australian iron ore assets.'

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