By Alex MacDonald
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) expects to account for more than 25% of additional global iron ore output over the next seven years, a senior executive at the company said Wednesday, with global iron ore supply needs growing at a rate of at least 100 million metric tons a year in order to meet global demand for the steelmaking raw ingredient.
Global population growth, particularly in developing countries, is expected to result in the urbanization of close to 3 billion people into cities between 2010 and 2050, Alan Davies, President of International Operations at Rio Tinto Iron Ore, a unit of the globally diversified miner, said in a presentation for an iron ore conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
"The China steel story has a long way left to run, with India and others to follow," Mr. Davies said in his presentation.
Mr. Davies noted that 500 million tons of the expected global iron ore supply growth over the next seven years will be used to satisfy iron ore demand growth, while 200 million tons will be used to replace high cost iron ore production that is forecast to shutdown, he said.
The presentation was posted on the company's web site Wednesday.
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