Rio Tinto to invest additional US$300 million to advance the Kitimat Modernisation Project



    MONTREAL, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto is to invest an additional
US$300 million in the modernisation of the Kitimat aluminium smelter in
British Columbia, Canada, bringing the current project funding total to over
US$500 million.
    "The Kitimat Modernisation Project leverages two of our greatest
competitive advantages - clean, self-generated hydropower and internationally
renowned AP smelting technology. This investment continues construction and
maintains critical paths for the project, while we seek opportunities to
reduce capital costs in the currently challenging economic climate," said Dick
Evans, Chief executive, Rio Tinto Alcan.
    This stage of funding will secure the launch of an anode baking furnace,
substation, casthouse, and construction workers' camp, as well as ancillary
services.
    "The Kitimat Modernisation Project remains a priority for Rio Tinto Alcan
and this investment allows us to continue building on what the project team
has already accomplished," said Jacynthe Côté, President and chief executive
officer, Primary Metal, Rio Tinto Alcan. "We will progress with construction
and driving further value from the project."
    The modernisation of the Kitimat aluminium smelter will increase its
current production from 245,000 tonnes per year to approximately
400,000 tonnes per year, representing growth of more than 60 per cent. Rio
Tinto Alcan's proprietary AP technology is the most cost effective, energy
efficient, and environmentally friendly smelting technology available,
allowing the modernised plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to
40 per cent per year.

    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, Canada:
Stefano Bertolli, +1 514 848 8151, stefano.bertolli@riotinto.com; Rio Tinto
Alcan, Primary Metal B.C.: Colleen Nyce, +1 250 639 8760,
colleen.nyce@riotinto.com; Media Relations, Australia: Amanda Buckley, +61 (0)
3 9283 3627, Mobile: +61 (0) 419 801 349; Ian Head, +61 (0) 3 9283 3620,
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 360 101; Media Relations, London: Christina Mills, +44 (0)
20 7781 1154, Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605; Nick Cobban, +44 (0) 20 7781 1138,
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003; Media Relations, US & South America: Nancy Ives,
Mobile, +1 619 540 3751; Investor Relations, North America: Jason Combes, +1
801 204 2919, Mobile: +1 801 558 2645; Investor Relations, Australia: Dave
Skinner, +61 (0) 3 9283 3628, Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309; Simon Ellinor, +61
(0) 7 3867 1607, Mobile: +61 (0) 439 102 811; Investor Relations, London:
Nigel Jones, +44 (0) 20 7781 2049, Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 227365; David
Ovington, +44 (0) 20 7781 2051, Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978;
questions@riotinto.com; www.riotinto.com; www.riotinto.com/riotintoalcan;
www.kitimatworksmodernization.com; High resolution photographs available at:
www.newscast.co.uk

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