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Rio Tinto CEO: China's steel demand will keep growing

Time:Thu, 29 May 2014 15:11:48 +0800

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Miner wants to build relations as iron ore market gets competitive.

The world's second-largest miner, Rio Tinto Group, faces an ever more competitive iron ore market.

It wants stronger relations with China, the world's biggest steelmaker.

"As China continues its urbanization and industrialization process, the steel demand will keep growing," CEO Sam Walsh, said. "We are confident that our products will be needed in the future."

He has visited China nearly 50 times.

It shows his company's commitment to the country and his interest and affection for it.

Walsh was appointed head of Rio Tinto on Jan 17, 2013. His trip to Beijing in March was his fifth since taking the post.

He replaced Tom Albanese at the top of a company that had to write off US$22 billion over two years.

He said his strategy remains unchanged: continuous commitment to the market, cutting costs and supplying high-quality products.

In 2013, Rio Tinto produced 266 million tonnes of iron ore, an annual increase of 5 percent. China drives over a third of company revenue.

Higher-grade ore is demanded by Chinese steel mills, Walsh said. The government focuses ever more on the environment and enforces rules on factory emissions.

Cities such as Beijing suffer from pollution.

China imported 819 million tonnes of iron ore in 2013, up 10.2 percent year-on-year, according to customs data.

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