It may be the biggest confirmed private investment in B-C history. Rio Tinto has given final approval to its 3.3-billion-dollar Kitimat Modernization Project — and both Premier Christy Clark and Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan predict more big news is coming.
Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal President Jean Simon received a standing ovation, when he told a large crowd gathered in Kitimat yesterday: “Ladies & Gentlemen, this is formally a go!” — thus launching the final 2.7-billion-dollar capital investment in the project.
The announcement was made in one of the buildings at the construction workers village near the smelter site — and was prefaced by a traditional Haisla welcome — which was important to R-T-A, since they have a Legacy Agreement with the Haisa.
“The Haisla nation has worked very closely with RTA — and supported the reality of this important and exciting decision. Together with RTA, our nation is very proud of the legacy agreement reached with the company,” said Haisla Business Operations Regional Manager Clarence Nyce.
RTA Western Canada operations vice president Paul Henning says, although a lot of preparatory work is already underway, it’s great to finally launch the project in full.