Rio Tinto ups capital spending, boosts iron ore

LONDON (AP) — Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto PLC says it plans to triple its capital expenditure to around $11 billion next year as it attempts to boost its iron ore production by more than 50 percent over five years.

The world’s third-largest miner and second-biggest iron ore exporter said Friday that new drilling and a reevaluation of deposits in Western Australia state’s remote Pilbara region had revealed an additional two billion tons of iron ore reserves.

Rio Tinto is expanding its iron ore division amid growing demand from China for raw materials to make steel.

The new plans come just a month after Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton scrapped plans to form the world’s biggest iron ore joint venture after running into regulatory and political opposition to the deal.

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