The world's No. 2 iron ore miner Rio Tinto said a strong third quarter and productivity gains led to a 12 percent rise in iron ore production as price volatility persists in the global market.
Rio Tinto, which competes with Vale and BHP Billiton in the seaborne-traded iron ore market, confirmed its target of mining 295 million tons of the steel-making material in 2014, up from 266 million last year.
From Europe to Australia, smaller, less efficient miners are in many case struggling to survive, while the mega miners, take a bigger share of the $130 billion seaborne iron ore market.
Third-quarter iron ore production totaled 76.8 million tons, up from 68.3 million in the same period last year, the company said. It also marked a 5 percent gain over the second quarter.
"Our strategy of focusing on long-life, low-cost assets means we will continue to generate strong cash flows despite a lower price environment, resulting in materially increased and consistent cash returns to shareholders," Rio tinto chief Executive Sam Walsh said in releasing the company's third-quarter production report.
Iron ore prices dropped to five-year lows this year as seaborne supplies grew amid slowing demand growth from the key Chinese market, though prices have seen a recent rebound.