BRITISH COLUMBIA - The board of Rio Tinto has approved the final US$2.7 billion for the modernization of the Kitimat aluminum smelter in the town of the same name. The project, with a total cost of US$3.3 billion, will boost production 48% to 420,000 t/y.
Production of the first metal from the revamped smelter is expected in the first half of 2014, followed by a nine-month ramp up. The smelter will use Rio Tinto Alcan's proprietary AP40 smelting technology that, along with the hydroelectric power from the company's plant, will reduce the smelter's carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50%, says the company.
The modernization will create about 1,000 permanent jobs and 2,500 jobs during peak construction.
Rio Tinto is the successful bidder for Hathor Exploration and has extended its offer to Dec. 12, 2011.
Visit www.RioTintoAlcan.com for additional information.