Rio Tinto Alcan, Yarwun.
Rio Tinto Alcan, Yarwun. Tom Huntley

Gladstone operations make up 25% of Rio's coastal trade

RIO Tinto Alcan's operations in Gladstone account for 25% of Australia's coastal trade, according to a new report.

The figures came out in an iSentia report that shows Queensland as the busiest state for coastal freight, loading 21.4 million tonnes in 2011/12.

The trade is driven by Rio Tinto through port-to-port trade between Gladstone and Weipa's ports.

Rio's 18.2mtpa capacity mine at Cape York feeds the coastal shipment of bauxite to Gladstone, where it is refined at Rio Tinto's wholly owned Yarwun refinery or 80%-owned Queensland Alumina refinery.

Weipa to Gladstone trade totalled 13.7mt in 2011/2012, a 200,000 tonne increase on the 2010/11 total, and a 4.5mt increase on the 9.2mt recorded a decade ago.

That represents an average growth of 1.4% per annum for the trade.

The sunshine state also received the highest volume of coastal freight throughout the period - with 18.5mt being discharged there in 2011/2012.