Rio Tinto posts record earnings on iron ore surge2021|01:31
It’s a payout bonanza for shareholders at Rio Tinto after the company logged a record first half performance on Wednesday. The global miner released $9.1 billion in dividends as iron ore prices soared on strong demand from China. Rio's half-year underlying earnings more than doubled from a year earlier, with supply problems in Brazil also driving prices of the steel-making commodity to record highs earlier this year. As the the world's top producer of iron ore, Rio said the average realised price for the commodity nearly doubled. The price jump helped drive the miner's underlying earnings to $12.17 billion, up from $4.75 billion a year earlier. The company declared special and interim dividends that more than tripled last year's first-half payout. Besides the price jump, Rio's mining operations actually had a tough time, which the firm blamed on poor weather and health crisis restrictions, That left Rio in danger of losing its crown as the world's largest iron ore producer to Vale, after guiding that production would be at the lower end of forecasts this year. Rio Tinto shares were down around 0.3% by early afternoon in London.