Rio Tinto Prioritizes Debt Reduction in 2014; Cash Price of Aluminum Rises 0.8%

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Cut, cut, cut. Save, save, save.

Rio Tinto is trying to do both of these things. The company “told investors it would prioritize cutting its debt burden in 2014 before returning cash to shareholders, pressing ahead with cost reductions that have already exceeded a $2 billion 2013 target,” reports Reuters.

“Rio, along with other major mining companies facing cooling demand for its minerals, has announced aggressive cutbacks, from administrative costs to spending on exploration, hoping to boost flagging shareholder returns and protect its credit rating.”

“It said earlier this month that it would halve capital spending to $8 billion by 2015.”

“Rio told analysts and investors on Wednesday its focus next year would be to continue lowering a debt burden that is likely to end 2013 little changed from a year ago – roughly $19 billion – after hitting a peak of $22 billion in June.”

In metal price news…

The aluminum cash price saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 0.8 percent on the LME to close at $1,762 per metric ton on Wednesday, December 11. After a 0.7 percent increase, the 3-month price of aluminum finished the day on the LME at $1,807 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum gained 0.4 percent to finish.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The Chinese aluminum cash price rose 0.3 percent. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap was unchanged. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held flat.

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