Rio Tinto Alcan inaugurates specialty aluminas facilities in Gardanne, France



    PARIS, Oct. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan today inaugurated specialty
aluminas facilities at its refinery in Gardanne, France, which include a
grinding workshop, a packaging workshop and 12 storage silos. The inaugural
event was attended by local government, economic leaders, media and employees.
    "This investment will help increase Gardanne's production for the rapidly
growing global specialty aluminas market," said Frederic Weishaar, Managing
Director, Specialty Aluminas Europe for the Bauxite and Alumina unit. "The new
facilities will enable Rio Tinto Alcan to meet the growing demand for a
variety of applications, such as liquid crystal display television screens,
and to capture new markets in both Asia and the United States. These
facilities represent just part of the (euro)20 million that has been invested
in the Gardanne site over the past two years," Weishaar continued.
    "Rio Tinto Alcan is committed to minimizing harmful effects to the
environment through effective management practices," said Weishaar. "In line
with this commitment, Gardanne also invested (euro)5 million this year in a
new process; whereby, bauxite residue (a by-product of the alumina refining
process) is filtered, dewatered and transformed into Bauxaline(C), a product
with numerous commercial applications such as road embankments and
sub-grades."
    Gardanne, which employs a total of 500 people, has a production capacity
of 700,000 tonnes of aluminas per year, which makes it the leading producer in
Europe and number two globally. Specialty aluminas represents 80% of
Gardanne's sales; while, 20% can be attributed to smelter-grade alumina.

    About Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the
UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited,
which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
    Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral
resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and
uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and
iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia
and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe
and southern Africa.

    %B NM %C 1,2,20 %D Gardanne




For further information:

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Paris:
Chrystele Ivins, +33-1-56-28-24-18, chrystele.ivins@alcan.com; Rio Tinto Alcan
Media Relations, Montreal: Bryan Tucker, +1 514 848 8151,
media.relations@alcan.com; questions@riotinto.com; www.riotinto.com; High
resolution photographs available at: www.newscast.co.uk

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