QIT-Fer et Titane adapts to market uncertainty

    MONTREAL, April 6 /CNW Telbec/ - QIT-Fer et Titane - a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Rio Tinto - is adapting to market uncertainty and the global
financial crisis by implementing a series of measures at its Sorel-Tracy
metallurgical complex and Havre-Saint-Pierre mine, including a temporary
summer closure.
    "Our objective is to ensure the future of our business and to continue
contributing to the financial health of the regions in which we operate. The
collaboration and understanding of our union representatives and business
partners is helping us through this difficult situation," said Jean-François
Turgeon, President, QIT-Fer et Titane. "We recognise that we have a
responsibility to our clients and that our suppliers need to meet their
obligations. As we evaluated various options, we endeavoured to have a minimal
impact on them, as well as on our own employees."
    From 12 July to 8 September 2009, total operations of plants and services
at QIT-Fer et Titane will be temporarily suspended. Summer activities at the
Havre-Saint-Pierre mine will also cease during this time and are expected to
resume on 31 August. Previously planned interruption periods for the end of
2009 will also take effect on 11 December, one week sooner than anticipated.
The summer shutdown will impact approximately 1800 employees, including all
personnel in Sorel-Tracy and Havre-Saint-Pierre with the exception of
essential services staff.
    "All interruptions and service suspensions will be completed safely, and
the integrity of our sites will be managed responsibly by essential services
personnel," said Jean-François Turgeon. "Safety remains one of our greatest
priorities, even during this challenging time."
    QIT-Fer et Titane employs approximately 2000 people at its
Havre-Saint-Pierre mine and metallurgical complex at Sorel-Tracy. It is a
leading producer of titanium dioxide feedstock and a world leader in producing
high-quality iron, steel and metal powders. In recent years, Rio Tinto has
invested over $1 billion in the Sorel-Tracy metallurgical complex in order to
meet customer needs.

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations, QIT-Fer et Titane inc.:
Chantal Capistran, +1 450 746 3074, chantal.capistran@qit.com;
www.riotinto.com; www.qit.com

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