The company’s revenues from its diamond unit rose 3.3 percent to $342 million. Earnings from diamonds dipped from the $31 million to $22 million. The company noted that in 2016 first half, the US consumer market was steady, however demand from India and China continued to be slower due to local market factors. Industry rough diamond prices varied across product segments.
Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “Rio Tinto has generated net cash from operating activities of $3.2 billion and reported underlying earnings of $1.6 billion, against a backdrop of continued volatility and lower commodity prices.
The company paid the 2015 final dividend of $1.9 billion in April 2016, and reduced net debt during the half to $12.9 billion. Also, it reduced its interim dividend to $0.45 a share - from $1.075 in the previous year.