FREE ARTICLE PREVIEW: You are enjoying a free sample of exclusive
subscriber content. There is a limit of three free articles per week.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Aug 26 - Sep 1, 2013 Volume 99 Number 28 - 0 comments

Rio Tinto to close Shawinigan smelter early

TEXT SIZE bigger text smaller text
2013-08-21

Rio Tinto’s (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO) aluminum subsidiary Rio Tinto Alcan is closing its aluminum smelter in Shawinigan, Que., in two quick stages so that it can remove 100,000 tonnes per year of aluminum smelting capacity by the end of this November.

“This decision follows a strategic review that explored every option for continuing smelting operations. Due to dated technology and continued weakness in aluminum prices, Shawinigan’s primary aluminium capacity is not currently sustainable,” said Arnaud Soirat, CEO of Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal, in a statement.

Commissioned in 1942, and still operating with old Soderberg technology, the smelter had been due to close at the end of next year owing to tightening environmental regulations, but the slump in aluminum prices and chronic overcapacity in aluminum smelting and refining worldwide apparently sped up Rio Tinto’s plans.

Some 425 positions will be eliminated overall, with 60 positions retained at a casting house until that too is shut down in December 2014. All employees will receive full salary for a year under their current union collective agreement, and will receive retirement options, retraining or job-search help where appropriate.

Rio Tinto had already chopped a planned 568,000 tonnes of capacity from its global aluminum business, or 13%, in response to aluminum prices that have fallen by a third over the last two years. This includes next year’s closing of the 176,000-tonne Arvida smelter in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Que., which is being offset by another 60,000 tonnes of new capacity in Quebec using modern, cleaner AP60 technology.

Rio Tinto Alcan has 5,000 employees in Quebec.

In Kitimat, B.C., Rio Tinto Alcan is boosting aluminum smelting capacity from 187,000 to 420,000 tonnes.



© 1915 - 2014 The Northern Miner. All Rights Reserved.

Related News
U.S. equities end the week higher, Oct. 20-24
Editorial: Miners smile at falling oil prices
De Beers the jewel of Anglo American as iron-ore price drops

Photos

The smoke stacks at Rio Tinto's aluminum smelter rise above the rooftops in Shawinigan, Quebec. Photo by Michel Talbot.
The smoke stacks at Rio Tinto's aluminum smelter rise a...

Companies in This Story

Rio Tinto plc



Horizontal ruler
Horizontal Ruler

Post A Comment

Disclaimer
Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that Northern Miner has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published and those that are published will not be edited. However, all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Your Name (this will appear with your post) *

Email Address (will not be published) *

Comments *



* mandatory fields