By Daniel Hunter

Mining giants Rio Tinto have reported a massive 59% fall in their profits.

The drop is due to a huge writedown in the value of its aluminium operations.

A statement on the company's website confirmed that 'net earnings of $5.8 billion, 59 per cent below 2010, primarily as a result of an impairment charge of $8.9 billion related to the Group's aluminium businesses'.

Rio chief executive Tom Albanese said he would forgo his annual bonus.

"As the acquisition of Alcan happened on my watch, I felt it only right not to be considered for an annual bonus this year," Mr Albanese said.

"Whilst our growth programme looks to the medium and longer term, we are mindful of short-term uncertainties."

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