Rio Tinto Alcan Prize for Research awarded to a researcher from Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique

    PARIS, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Academy of Sciences of the Institute of
France awarded the 15,000 (euro) (19,415 $ US) Rio Tinto Alcan Prize for
Research to Mr. Patrice Chartrand, associate professor at the Department of
Chemical Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal during a formal
ceremony held in Paris, France on February 5, 2008.
    "It gives me great pleasure to award the Rio Tinto Alcan Prize for
Research to Mr. Chartrand," said Claude Vanvoren, vice-president Technology,
research and development, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal. "This recognition
underlines the significant contribution of fundamental research to the
development of primary aluminium production technologies. This kind of
contribution is of the utmost importance to Rio Tinto Alcan, a worldwide
leader in primary aluminium production technology thanks to its significant
research and development (R&D) activities."
    The Rio Tinto Alcan Prize for Research is awarded annually and rewards
scientific work contributing to progress in the aluminium industry or, more
broadly, to the progress of general knowledge concerning production processes
and the properties of materials which may be useful to the aluminium industry.
    The Prize winner is selected from candidates put forward by various
university bodies and individuals. After collecting nominations, the Academy
awards the Prize following the recommendation of a committee composed of
members of the French Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Technologies.
    Mr. Chartrand has been recognized for his role in setting up a
thermodynamic modelling consortium (virtual laboratory) and a database that is
useful for the aluminium industry as a whole as well as other industrial
    Rio Tinto Alcan employs approximately 1,200 people in R&D, in eight
plants, three of which - Arvida (Canada), St Jean-de-Maurienne and Voreppe
(France) - are dedicated to aluminium technologies. The company's worldwide
R&D network comprises research laboratories, engineering centres and technical
plant services covering its main markets and regions.

    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.

    %B NM %C 1,3,4,10,14,17,20 %D Prize for Research

For further information:

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Montreal:
Stefano Bertolli, (514) 848-8151,; Rio Tinto Alcan
Media Relations, France: Chrystèle Ivins, +33-1-57-00-24-18,;

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