ALUMINUM PRODUCTION: Permanent closure planned for Beauharnois smelter

QUEBEC — As part of Rio Tinto's global efforts to curtail production, the company has announced a further 6% ...

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QUEBEC — As part of Rio Tinto's global efforts to curtail production, the company has announced a further 6% cut to aluminum output. This follows an early 5% reduction. The reductions will have a significant impact on the operations of Rio Tinto Alcan in Quebec.

 

Rio has said it will close its Beauharnois smelter southwest of Montreal in Q2 2009. That will eliminate 220 jobs and reduce the company's annual aluminum output by 52,000 tonnes. The smelter was commissioned in 1943 and was marked for closure in 2010 because it uses Soderberg technology.

 

Production at the company's alumina refinery in Vaudreuil is to be cut by 25% or 400,000 tonnes yearly. A 50% cut in output is planned for the cathode plant at Jonquiere

 

Rio Tinto also announced reductions at its aluminum operations in France, the United Kingdom and Norway. A total of 1,100 workers will be laid off worldwide.

 

The company's website is at www.RioTinto.com.

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