Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre

Rio Tinto will invest US$29 million to construct a new aluminium recycling facility at its Arvida plant.
Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre Rio Tinto to invest in aluminium recycling centre

Rio Tinto will recycle aluminium scrap at the facility.

The plant will be located in Saguenay, Quebec.

Rio Tinto will use the recycled products into aluminium alloys.

"Investing in new recycling facilities in Arvida is another step in our strategy to expand our offering of low carbon aluminium products and integrate the circular economy into our value chain," Aluminium Managing Director of Atlantic Operations Sebastien Ross said.

"This will allow us to continue to meet our customers' growing demand for responsible and traceable products."

Rio Tinto will remelt clean aluminium scrap from used vehicles and construction materials to produce recycled content. This content will be used in aluminium billets at the Arvida smelter, as well as other products, the company said.

The recycling centre will be operational in the March quarter of 2024. Its initial capacity will be 30,000 tonnes per year, with construction expected to begin in October.

The centre will have a remelting furnace with regenerative burners; Rio Tinto will install an automated scrap loading system in a building at the Arvida plant.

Arvida has been operating since 1926 and has an annual production of 135,000 tonnes of billets, primarily for the automotive industry and heat exchangers.

Rio Tinto has been upgrading its aluminium processes to be more environmentally friendly. In November 2021, it successfully trialed a method at a nearby research centre to produce aluminium without generating carbon.

The ELYSIS project on small smelting cells was launched by Rio Tinto and Alcan in 2018. Rio Tinto plans to scale up to larger commercial-size smelting cells in 2023.

Earlier this year, Rio Tinto launched its START programme which uses blockchain to help customers verify the environmental, social, and governance standards involved in their aluminium purchases.