Rio Tinto has reiterated its focus on the safety of its communities and people amid the latest wave of COVID-19 in certain parts of the world.
According to the company’s second quarter results report, Rio Tinto has now exceeded 30 months without a fatality on site.
“We continue to prioritise the safety of our people and communities as some regions experience a resurgence of COVID-19,” the company stated.
“We have exceeded 30 months without a fatality on site, but our all injury frequency rate (AIFR) of 0.39 has seen a slight increase versus the second quarter of 2020 (0.37), and prior quarter (0.35), which underlines that there is no room for complacency.
“Our colleague Nico Swart was tragically killed in a shooting incident whilst driving to work at Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa on 24 May. Our sympathies are with Nico’s family and we are offering ongoing support to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said while the safety side of the operation was positive, the company acknowledged challenges over the first half of the year.
“Safety is our first priority and our performance in this area remains robust in challenging conditions,” Stausholm said. “However, as identified shortly after my appointment, operationally we are not where we want to be.
“Our first half performance has reaffirmed my belief that we have identified the right priorities to strengthen the business: to become the best operator, strive for impeccable ESG credentials, excel in development and secure a strong social licence.
“We have made initial progress against our priorities, but a large volume of work remains to make Rio Tinto even stronger, so we can continue to deliver superior returns to shareholders, invest in sustaining and growing our portfolio, and make a broader contribution to society.”
Rio produced 75.9 million tonnes of iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for the second quarter of 2021 – 9 per cent lower than the same time last year.
At the same time, shipments from the region were down 12 per cent on last year’s second quarter, at just 76.3 million tonnes.