Despite rival BHP Billiton recently lowering its expectations on iron ore exports to China, mining giant Rio Tinto is maintaining its forecasts for Chinese steel demand and expects production to reach around one billion tonnes by 2030. In contrast BHP Billiton has said it expects between 935 million tonnes and 985 million tonnes. Rio’ has said we are going through a period of adjustment with China but we see continued growth in global iron ore demand over the long term. The company predicts that non-Chinese steel demand will lift to 65 per cent by 2030. It is working on becoming more efficient – maintenance costs will be cut by $200 million a year over the next three years…on top of the previous reduction in iron ore operating costs of $US1 billion…and it has about 400 initiatives underway to identify further savings and lift productivity.