PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining giant Rio Tinto is quietly optimistic about the ability of US President Donald Trump to deliver on his infrastructure promises, driving demand for Rio’s products.
Speaking on CNBC, Rio CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques said a team from Rio had recently met with “key influencers and key decision-makers” in the Trump administration, spending a week in New York, Boston and Washington DC.
“I think it’s early days and I think it's going to be important to judge them on their actions and not only on words . . . but it could be very positive,” he told CNBC.
Commenting on the future of the iron-ore price, Jacques noted that there was still a risk of price volatility in 2017, but pointed out that the outlook for the Chinese economy remained positive in 2017.
“When I look at our order books, I’ve got no concerns whatsoever,” Jacques said.
He pointed out that the linchpin for iron-ore price volatility, however, would be China’s domestic iron-ore production, which was above 400-million tonnes only three years ago, with the country, according to Rio’s own calculations, only producing some 270-million tonnes currently.
“It’s still winter in China; it’s going to be interesting to see what may happen as we get into summer months. Are they going to restart some of this capacity? Depending on that decision, it may have an impact on the iron-ore price,” Jacques said.