Rio Tinto produced 47.23 million tons of iron ore in Q4 2009, setting a new record representing a 49% increase compared to the 31.76 million tons produced in Q4 2008.

The rise in iron ore production from the Pilbara region and continuing high demand from China pushed Rio into achieving its record haul.

Production of iron ore from the Pilbara region stood at 56 million tonnes in Q4 2009, representing a 54% increase compared to Q4 2008.

The company’s global iron ore production for 2009 was 217 million tons, representing a 13% hike compared to 2008.

Rio Tinto also achieved a new record in global sales of iron ore in Q4 2009 by crossing the 61 million tons mark.

Production of mined copper, refined copper, mined gold and thermal coal have increased, while production of uranium, bauxite and aluminium declined in Q4 2009 compared to the same period in the previous year.

In Q4 2009 Rio Tinto completed A$1.85bn-worth of divestments and now has A$10.3 agreed sales since the commencement of the divestment programme in 2008.