MINING company Rio Tinto has reported it shipped a total of 86.3 million tonnes of iron ore from its Pilbara operations over the course of the last three months of 2023.

This is an increase of 3% on the previous quarter, but a 1% decrease on the fourth quarter of 2022.

For the whole year, the company’s Pilbara operations produced 331.5 million tonnes of iron ore.

This was an 2% higher than the previous year. Shipments of iron ore from Rio Tinto’s  Pilbara operations for 2023 totalled 331.8 million tonnes, a 3% increase on the previous year, and the second-highest shipment numbers on record.

The company’s bauxite production of 54.6 million tonnes last year remains in line with the previous year.

The company said its bauxite operations saw improvement in the fourth quarter with production up 8% on the previous quarter.

The company said this increased followed higher-than-average rainfall at Weipa in the first quarter and equipment downtime at Weipa and Gove over the first half.

“There is good demand for the materials we produce, and our purpose and long-term strategy make more sense than ever,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said.