Rio Tinto Alcan continues to move forward towards the Kitimat Modernisation
Project through increased construction activity and site preparation

MONTREAL, Aug. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan will increase the pace of construction activity and take another step forward with site preparation for the Kitimat Modernisation Project (KMP). The focus of this work will be on the construction of a new Reduction Services Building. Rio Tinto Alcan will also close and dismantle two of the current smelter's pot lines to prepare the location for future buildings.

The estimated cost of this work is US$50 million and is in addition to the ongoing activities resulting in the construction of an anode pallet storage facility and intensive road works required for the KMP.

"The modernisation of our Kitimat smelter remains a strategic priority for Rio Tinto Alcan," said Jacynthe Cote, chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan. "With the increased activity, we are continuing to lay the groundwork for profitable growth through this important project that will transform our smelter into a top tier, low-cost, large-scale, and low-carbon asset."

"We are pleased that the work needed for the KMP continues to move forward," said Jean Simon, president of Primary Metal - North America for Rio Tinto Alcan. "This development demonstrates the company's commitment to the sustainable future of the aluminium industry in British Columbia and is a significant indication that we are moving closer to the realisation of the KMP."

The permanent closure of the two pot lines represents a production curtailment of about 67,000 tonnes per year and is an essential requirement of the KMP Business Plan. The proposed modernisation of the Kitimat aluminium smelter would increase its current production capacity to approximately 400,000 tonnes per year, an increase of more than 40 per cent. The modernised Kitimat smelter will use Rio Tinto Alcan's proprietary AP technology - the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly smelting technology available. This will allow the modernised plant to reduce overall total emissions, including 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.

SOURCE Rio Tinto Alcan

For further information: For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations: Kitimat: Colleen Nyce, Tel.: +1 250 639 8760,; Montreal: Bryan Tucker, Tel.: +1 514 848 8151,; Website:

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