China sales fuel Rio Tinto growth

Rio Tinto trumped analysts' expectations yesterday when it unveiled record first-half earnings, driven by booming commodity sales, particularly to China.

The mining group said that earnings hit $5.8bn, beating analysts' forecasts of $5.5bn. The group added that it was planning to spend $13bn on projects over the next 18 months.

Its iron ore project in Pilbara, Western Australia, is expected to be the main beneficiary.