Better than expected second quarter performance: Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) reported Pilbara iron ore shipments of 77.7 million tons in the second quarter of 2017 (100 per cent basis), which is a decrease of 6% as compared to the prior corresponding period. This decline was mainly on the back of accelerated rail track maintenance. The group expects Iron ore shipments to be around 330 million tons for FY17 which is lower end to their earlier forecasts of 330 to 340 million tons. On the other hand, the group reported a solid bauxite production of 12.9 million tons, an increase of 7% as compared to the prior corresponding period (pcp) boosted by Weipa and Gove production. Despite Mined copper production recovery from last quarter, it fell 6% as compared to the pcp on the back of ongoing ramp up in Escondida after the labor strike. Titanium dioxide slag production enhanced 34% from pcp showing improving market demand. The group chose Yancoal Australia as its preferred buyer of Coal & Allied, as they enhanced their offer from $2.69 billion, and expects to finish the sale by the third quarter of 2017.