Rio Tinto Alcan to invest US$7.6 million in Beauharnois facility to continue
serving the aluminium primary foundry market

MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan plans to invest US$7.6 million in its Beauharnois, Quebec facility to maintain casting production to serve its primary foundry market customers. Construction work and other preparations are underway, and additional capacity could be online as early as this spring.

"Rio Tinto is a leader in the supply of primary aluminium alloys to the North American casting sector. This investment will maintain our previous production levels at Beauharnois without interruption, and serve our foundry small form customers over the long term," said Gordon Hamilton, vice president, Metal Management Sales & Marketing, Rio Tinto Alcan. "We remain well positioned to continue our leadership in the North American market and develop innovative casting products to serve our clients."

The collaboration between Rio Tinto Alcan's research and development centres, employees, clients, and partners will help the Beauharnois facility offer uninterrupted service to its customers and draw from its technical expertise and strong supply network during the transition. The facility ceased its smelting operations in spring 2009 but has continued its casting activities. The renovated centre will employ approximately 35 people.

Aluminium castings are used to help reduce the environmental impact of various products for the automotive, aerospace, and transportation industries. Lightweighting in particular is an important strategy for producing greener, more fuel efficient vehicles and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Strong, light material such as aluminium is a vital component to this process.

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.

SOURCE Rio Tinto Alcan

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

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Rio Tinto Alcan

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