MONTREAL, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan and Cahya Mata Sarawak
Berhad (CMS)'s proposed US$2 billion (approximately RM7 billion) world-class
aluminium smelter project in Similajau, in the state of Sarawak, has made
significant progress with the granting of a manufacturing licence by the
Malaysian Industrial Development Authority.
"This is a clear demonstration of the Malaysian federal government's
confidence in the SALCO smelter project," stated Sandeep Biswas, senior vice
president, business development, Rio Tinto Alcan. "The Federal Government's
support, through the granting of the licence from the Malaysian Industrial
Development Authority, is a recognition of the significant benefits the SALCO
smelter can deliver for Malaysia and Sarawak."
The proposed smelter will have a production capacity of 550,000 tonnes
per year in its initial phase, with the capability to be expanded to
1.5 million tonnes. It is expected to contribute up to RM2.4 billion annually
to Malaysia's GDP, and could generate up to 4,700 direct and indirect jobs.
CMS group managing director Dato' Richard Curtis, in thanking the federal
government for its support said: "SALCO looks forward to working with both the
federal and Sarawak state governments to develop a truly outstanding project.
The Sarawak state government and its agencies have also played a significant
role in the progress of the SALCO smelter project," he concluded.
Rio Tinto Alcan and CMS signed a Heads of Agreement in August 2007 to
commence feasibility studies for the development of the SALCO smelter. A
detailed environmental impact assessment has commenced and international
engineering consultant Bechtel has been appointed to undertake an engineering
study. As well, in February 2008, Rio Tinto Alcan and CMS signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) with Sarawak Energy Behard to allow negotiations to
commence on power for the smelter. The MoU was signed during the launch of the
Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (SCORE) in Bintulu.
The Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) is an agency of the
Malaysian government established to promote and coordinate industrial
development. All companies engaged in manufacturing in Malaysia must obtain a
Sarawak Aluminium Company (SALCO), a joint-venture owned by Rio Tinto
Alcan (60%) and Cahya Mata Sarawak (40%), is undertaking studies to develop an
aluminium smelter in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. Rio Tinto Alcan, the new
global leader in aluminium, owns bauxite mines, alumina refineries and
aluminium smelters, and has extensive experience in the design, engineering,
construction, commissioning and operation of world-class aluminium smelters.
CMS is the largest conglomerate in Sarawak. Its operations span construction
and property development, construction materials, road maintenance, financial
services, trading, technology and education. For more information, please
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.
This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section
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than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including,
without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's financial position, business
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forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements.
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achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements
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activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or
regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent
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Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC.
Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such
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(the "Takeover Code"), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency
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Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions
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earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily
match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.
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of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or
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that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements
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For further information:
For further information: Media Relations, Australia: Ian Head, Office:
+61 (0) 3 9283 3620, Mobile: +61 (0) 408 360 101; Amanda Buckley, Office: +61
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