(Adds details on results, forecast, background)
July 29 (Reuters) - Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto
reported better-than-expected first-half profit on
Wednesday, boosted by firm prices for iron ore and higher output
as Chinese demand for the steel-making ingredient recovered from
a coronavirus hit.
Iron ore prices have remained resilient this year on the
back of China's infrastructure development push and concerns
over a supply shortfall from Brazil, helping miners like Rio
weather through disruptions in mining other commodities.
Underlying earnings from iron ore, which typically accounts
for about 80% of Rio's earnings, gained 1% to $4.56 billion in
the half-year, and shipments rose 3%.
Total underlying earnings for the six months ended June 30
fell to $4.75 billion from $4.93 billion a year earlier, but
handily beat a consensus of $4.36 billion from 16 analysts
compiled by Vuma.
Rio said it took a $1 billion impairment charge for the
period, largely related to four of its aluminium smelters and
its Diavik diamond mine in Canada.
The world's largest iron ore miner declared an interim
dividend of $1.55 per share, up from $1.51 last year, and stuck
to its 2020 production forecast for all its commodities.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Shriya Ramakrishnan in
Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)