Rio Tinto Alcan continues to adjust production at its Alma smelter and will keep on operating one-third of its capacity for the duration of labour disruption

MONTREAL, Jan. 2, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan will keep on operating one-third of production for the duration of the labour disruption at its 438,000 tonne Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec. On 1 January 2012, Rio Tinto Alcan announced that it would begin an orderly shutdown of 144 out of the plant's 432 reduction cells. Today, the company will begin the process of shutting down an additional 144 cells, leaving one-third of the Alma smelter's capacity in operation.

Plans are in place to ensure that our aluminium operations throughout the region continue to run safely and efficiently, and we will work to limit the labour disruption's impact on Rio Tinto Alcan's customers.

Rio Tinto Alcan initiated a lockout at the Alma smelter after the Syndicat des travailleurs de l'aluminium d'Alma (Alma aluminium workers' union) rejected the company's final proposal for an agreement. Rio Tinto Alcan had been bargaining with the union since 4 October 2011. Every effort was made to reach an agreement in the best interests of employees, customers and the business before the union's contract expired on 31 December 2011.

The Syndicat des travailleurs de l'aluminium d'Alma represents 755 employees at the plant, including 674 hourly workers, 25 office personnel and 56 workers at the pot relining centre.

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) 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:

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations
Bryan Tucker
Tel.: +1 514 848 8151
Media Relations, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Claudine Gagnon
Tel.: +1 418 699 4005

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