Rio Tinto Alcan proud to be part of state-of-the-art Sohar Aluminium smelter's pouring of first metal



    MONTREAL, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Sohar Aluminium (SA), 20 percent owned
by Rio Tinto Alcan, has poured the first metal at its newly constructed
smelter in Sohar, Oman. The state-of-the-art smelter utilizes Rio Tinto
Alcan's benchmark AP36 technology - the most efficient and environmentally
friendly available.
    "I would like to congratulate our partners, the Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C.
and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, as well as the project and
operations teams for having achieved this major milestone right on schedule,"
said Rio Tinto Alcan chief executive Dick Evans. "Rio Tinto Alcan is delighted
to have expanded its presence in the dynamic Middle East Gulf region by
providing not only cutting-edge technology but also operational know-how and
management expertise to this project."
    Noting that it will rank in the lowest quartile of the global industry
cash cost curve, Jacynthe Côté, president and chief executive officer, Rio
Tinto Alcan, Primary Metal, said the Sohar smelter "will showcase Rio Tinto
Alcan's technology and cost leadership".
    In addition to its equity interest in the project, Rio Tinto Alcan has
assumed responsibility for technical and operational support as well as sales
and marketing of all SA metal exported from Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
With an initial capacity of 360kt per year, the smelter is on track to reach
full production in December 2008, following a ramp-up period.

    About Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the
UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE 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.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section
21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other
than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including,
without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's financial position, business
strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including
development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products, production
forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or
achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different
from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by
such forward-looking statements.
    Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions
regarding Rio Tinto's present and future business strategies and the
environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important
factors that could cause Rio Tinto's actual results, performance or
achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements
include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels
of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products
profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and
operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic
conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors,
activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or
regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent
Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC.
Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such
risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking
(except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers
(the "Takeover Code"), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency
Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the
Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions
to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio
Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions
or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
    Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future
earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily
match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.
    Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any
of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or
any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any
representation or warranty (either express or implied) or gives any assurance
that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this
announcement will be achieved.




For further information:

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations: Stefano
Bertolli, (514) 848-8151, stefano.bertolli@riotinto.com,
www.riotinto.com/riotintoalcan

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