BRITISH COLUMBIA – International diversified miner Rio Tinto is preparing the first shipments of aluminum from its modernized Kitimat smelter.
The upgrades cost approximately $3 billion and took three years to accomplish. The company's proprietary AP40 smelting technology was installed to cut emissions in half. Capacity has been boosted by 48% to 420,000 tonnes of aluminum per year, while making the facility one of the lowest cost smelters in the world. The first production was achieved in June 2015.
Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said, "The modernization of Kitimat will fundamentally transform its performance, moving it from the fourth quartile to the first decile of the industry cost curve. At full production, Kitimat will be one of the most efficient, greenest and lowest cost smelters in the world.
"Positioned in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, Kitimat is well placed to serve rapidly growing demand for aluminium in the Asia-Pacific region and to serve the North American market."
Additional information about Rio Tinto's aluminum business is available at RioTintoAlcan.com.