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Rio sees no slowing in iron ore demand
Rio sees no slowing in iron ore demand

Resources giant Rio Tinto is pressing ahead with expanding its robust iron ore business despite concerns about a slowdown in China.

Australia's biggest iron ore producer shrugged off recent pessimism regarding a slowdown in the economic growth of its biggest customer.

Recently rival BHP Billiton said it would not spend the $80 billion it had planned for growth projects up until 2015.

Rio Tinto chief executive of iron ore Sam Walsh said his company expects Chinese economic growth to be around eight per cent as it continues its process of urbanisation and industrialisation.

"I know there are a lot of people who are passing doom on that, but we're just not physically seeing that on the ground," Mr Walsh said in a speech to the Asia Society in Sydney.

"We see the iron ore business as being a very robust business.

"We see that continuing in the short term and long term."

Developing regions such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, the former Soviet Union, Middle East, Brazil were all urbanising, he said.

"If you look at the short-term our view is that the market is steady as it goes," Mr Walsh said.

"Right now we're continuing to ship flat out with very good production and we see that Australia is uniquely placed in relation to the product we offer but also the proximity to demand and that certainly puts us in the box seat.

"We have a number of projects to expand our operations.

"These are things that we're continuing to work on and I'd expect that they'd improve."