Mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton recently reported record iron ore production from their Western Australian, Pilbara mining operations.
This is sending the signal out that Australian miners are transitioning into increased production and an accelerated productivity improvement phase.
Rio announced record iron ore production for the first six months of 2013. The mining company has improved iron ore production output at its WA Pilbara mines by a whopping six per cent in the second quarter of 2013 as compared to the previous quarter.
Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh said. “Our iron ore operations continue their impressive performance, with period on period productivity improvements”
Expectation for Rio’s iron ore production target for 2013 is still the same at around 265 million tonnes.
BHP revealed it exceeded market expectations, blowing straight through its production target for iron ore and lifting production outcomes for this financial year.
The drop in the Australian dollar has also has the two big mining companies lift operating profit, although they are not out of the woods yet, there are still challenging times ahead.
“We’re seeing significant progress against our cost-saving imperative, we’ve still got some way to go but we’re heading in the right direction.” Walsh said.
A new mining wave has arrived
With resource exports overtaking construction imports, it’s shaping up for stage three of Australia`s mining activity. Export of minerals from Australian increased 11 per cent in the March quarter, while imports of construction machinery used in mining investment performed poorly. Having said that, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Australia experienced a $5.6 billion lift in trade in the March quarter.
With rising exports and falling imports, a surplus of $367 million was achievable This was way up from the December 2012 deficit of $5.2 billion.
Mineral exports rise by $2.2 billion
Australian mining exports of iron ore and other metals increased by $2.2 billion. Miscellaneous imports of capital goods plummeted 26 per cent or after seasonal adjustments, reflects more so at $1.1 billion.
Using an academic formula based on the resources boom model, these current figures show that Australia is transitioning from mining investment to mining exports.
Australia`s exports remained strong, despite volatile prices, rebounding to $14.85 billion, which was the best month in a year.
The Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics forecasts resource exports are expected to grow 28 per cent over the next five years, which is good news for the Australian mining industry where people have been less than optimistic about mining jobs.
Reference: Australian Mining Companies Increase Productivity