Rio Tinto Alcan announces C$36 million investment at its Laterrière smelter in Quebec

SAGUENAY, QC, May 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan will invest C$36 million at its Laterrière smelter in Quebec, Canada in a two-year project aimed at improving the electrolytic cell control system.

"This is very good news for the Laterrière plant," said Étienne Jacques, vice president, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. "Replacing the plant's cell control system will bring the plant into the digital age will help secure a bright future for years to come. This investment will also allow the plant to maintain its equipment at the leading edge of technology, reduce operational costs, and conserve its enviable position as a low-cost aluminium producer."

The project is an opportunity for the Laterrière plant to modernise its electrolytic process control system, enhance plant energy efficiency, and support greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts. Moreover, it will eventually lead to an increase in production.

Located in Saguenay, Laterrière Works was first started up in 1989. Designed with P155 technology, the plant has 432 prebake cells. It produces 235,000 tonnes of primary aluminium and 225,000 metric tonnes of sheet ingot annually for its main clients - Novelis, Oswego, Logan, Arco and Alcan Cable.

In 2009, Laterrière Works received a North American Bravo! Award for significantly decreasing its natural gas consumption. The plant stands as a leader in greenhouse gas emission reduction.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a major international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom. It unites Rio Tinto plc, a corporation listed on the London and New York Stock Exchanges, and Rio Tinto Limited, a corporation listed on the Australia Stock Exchange.

Rio Tinto is involved in the prospecting, mining, and processing of mineral resources. The company chiefly produces aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (charcoal and uranium), gold and industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, and talc), and iron ore. Although the company operates worldwide, Rio Tinto is firmly established in Australia and North America, and owns large enterprises in South America, Asia, Europe, and Southern Africa.

For further information:
Media Relations,
Rio Tinto Alcan
Bryan Tucker
T: +1 514 848 8151
bryan.tucker@riotinto.com 
Media Relations,
Rio Tinto Alcan, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Claudine Gagnon
T: +1 418 699 4005
M: +1 418 718 4005
claudine.gagnon@riotinto.com
Website: www.riotintoalcan.com