Rio Tinto to upgrade B.C. aluminum smelter

Rio Tinto to upgrade B.C. aluminum smelter

TORONTO – Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-biggest mining company, said it will invest a further $2.7 billion to upgrade its Kitimat aluminum smelter in British Columbia, bringing the total cost of the modernization project to $3.3 billion.

The project will increase capacity at Kitimat by more than 48 per cent to about 420,000 metric tons a year, the London-based company said Thursday in a statement.

“The modernization of Kitimat will transform its performance, moving it from the third quartile to the first decile of the industry cost curve,” Jacynthe Cote, chief executive officer of the company’s Rio Tinto Alcan unit, said in the statement.

Rio Tinto acquired the Kitimat assets as part of its $38-billion takeover of Alcan Inc. in 2007.

via Business briefs.