“While we are mindful of current market volatility, the fundamentals are holding up well, particularly for bulk-traded commodities. We are operating at full capacity, selling all we produce and our growth program is on track, supported by the strength of our balance sheet.”

Coal production from the Queensland and New South Wales coal mines rebounded from the severe rains in the first half of the year. Australian hard coking coal production set a new quarterly record and was 14% higher than the third quarter of 2010 and 55% higher than the second quarter. Other production from the Australian coal operations favored semi-soft coal which was 57% higher than the third quarter of 2010 with thermal coal 3% lower.

Rio Tinto also completed the $3.7 billion Riversdale acquisition and the Benga operation in Mozambique is on track to be commissioned by year-end with substantial growth options ahead.