URGENT ¥¥¥ Rio Tinto posts unprecedented $2.99 bn loss

Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto on Thursday posted a US$2.99 billion annual net loss after a US$14.4 billion writedown on its Mozambique coal assets and ailing aluminium businesses.

The writedowns, announced last month, prompted the resignation of CEO Tom Albanese and saw Rio slump into the red on underlying earnings of US$9.3 billion.