LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto (RIO.AX), (RIO.L) reported a 29% drop in first-half profit and more than halved its dividend on Wednesday, as weaker iron ore prices due to cooling demand from top consumer China, higher costs and labour shortages hurt the global miner.
It is still the company’s second-highest interim payout ever, following on from the record payout dispensed last year when Rio’s profits benefited from a surge in commodity prices.
Since then, iron ore prices have come under pressure due to persistent demand worries from top steel producer China, with the country’s zero-COVID policy curtailing economic activity and weighing on ferrous markets.
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Mining companies around the world have also been struggling due to a pandemic-related shortage of skilled workers and surging inflation, at a time when iron ore prices have come off their 2021 highs and are expected to…