Global miner Rio Tinto has turned increasingly cautious on the outlook for its business over the coming months, prompting it to deepen cost cuts and put new projects under even greater scrutiny, Chief Executive Tom Albanese said on Tuesday.
Rio - the world's second-largest iron ore miner and the diversified producer most exposed to China and a recovery in its industrial output - earlier said it had cut its economic growth forecast for China.
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"There is some good news coming. The question is when will all of this flow through, ultimately, to our markets," Albanese told reporters ahead of a seminar with investors on the miner's copper business.
"Overall, I'd say that we are more cautious on the outlook for the next few quarters for our business than we would have been a couple of months ago."
Albanese added he did not expect any major new projects to be approved in the near term.
Analysts have worried over delays to a deal with the Chinese authorities to secure power for the flagship Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, but Albanese said he saw "real momentum" in talks that have come down to commercial terms.
"I am confident they will come to a commercial understanding," he said.
Analysts have said delays may not affect the current ramp up timetable for the mine as long as a deal is reached before the end of the year. The mine is currently scheduled to begin commercial production in the first half of next year.
(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Keith Weir)