Aluminium division boost Rio's bottom line

RIO Tinto's aluminium division was the second-biggest contributor to the mining giant's bottom line, its latest results show.

The company posted its equal-lowest underlying profit in five years.

Brisbane Times reports significant falls in the price of iron ore and copper ensured the miner's underlying profit of $US9.3 billion was lower than the $US10.2 billion achieved in 2013, but still higher than many analysts had expected.

On a divisional basis, aluminium was the big improver, climbing above the copper division to be the second-biggest contributor to Rio's bottom line, where it delivered $US1.4 billion to the company's coffers.

The result, released on Thursday, equals the $US9.3 billion underlying profit achieved in 2012, and is otherwise the lowest result since the miner posted a $US6.3 billion underlying loss in 2009.

Gladstone is home to Rio Tinto Alcan's alumina refinery at Yarwun.

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