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Will Rio Tinto’s Quality Aluminum Assets Be Enough?

How Will Rio Tinto Adjust to China’s 'New Normal'?

(Continued from Prior Part)

Aluminum prices

The aluminum division contributed to 23% of Rio Tinto’s (RIO) 1H15 underlying EBITDA (or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization). That’s why it’s important to understand this division’s profitability, depending on its realized prices and unit costs.

While aluminum prices started the year strongly with regional premiums at record levels, they trailed off during the rest of the year. London Metal Exchange (or LME) prices also slid slightly through the year and about 40% of smelters across the industry returning to a loss-making position by the middle of 2015...