Rio reassures on Pilbara plans

Miner pressured to cancel expansion, return cash to shareholders.

The head of Rio Tinto's (RIO) iron ore division, Andrew Harding, has sought to reassure investors that he will not lead the miner through its large-scale Pilbara expansion plans unless there is a sound business case for doing so, as he seeks to deflect shareholder pressure to return excess cash to investors instead of embark on the planned expansion, according to The Australian Financial Review.

If it follows through on the expansion, Rio would become the world's largest iron ore producer. But Rio and other large miners have faced pressure to revisit expansion plans until the outlook for Chinese commodity demand becomes more clear.

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