CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto says to fight to retain iron ore cost edge

jueves 9 de octubre de 2014 04:01 GYT

(Corrects iron ore price in 7th paragraph to $79.80, not $78.80)

* BHP aims to overtake Rio as lowest cost iron ore miner

* Rio iron ore chief says focus is on ridding more cost overruns

* Higher cost producers feeling heat of mega miners

By James Regan

SYDNEY, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto dismissed arch-rival BHP Billiton's pledge to upstage it as the world's lowest cost iron ore miner.

"You can rest assured, we are not standing still," Rio Tinto iron ore division chief Andrew Harding told reporters on a conference call.

BHP on Monday unveiled plans to cut production costs to less than $20 a tonne from $27.50 for the 2014 financial year in a bid to become the lowest cost miner. That compares with Rio Tinto's cost of $20.40 a tonne in the first half of 2014.

Iron ore prices hit five-year lows this year and projections of further falls has miners scrambling to cut costs.   Continuación...