Ceramic Industry

Rio Tinto Alcan Inaugurates French Specialty Aluminas Facilities (posted 10/29/07)

October 29, 2007

Rio Tinto Alcan recently inaugurated specialty aluminas facilities at its refinery in Gardanne, France, which include a grinding workshop, a packaging workshop and 12 storage silos. The inaugural event was attended by local government, economic leaders, media and employees.

“This investment will help increase Gardanne’s production for the rapidly growing global specialty aluminas market,” said Frederic Weishaar, managing director, Specialty Aluminas Europe for the Bauxite and Alumina unit. “The new facilities will enable Rio Tinto Alcan to meet the growing demand for a variety of applications, such as liquid crystal display television screens, and to capture new markets in both Asia and the U.S. These facilities represent just part of the €20 million (~ $29 million) that has been invested in the Gardanne site over the past two years.

“Rio Tinto Alcan is committed to minimizing harmful effects to the environment through effective management practices. In line with this commitment, Gardanne also invested €5 million (~ $7 million) this year in a new process whereby bauxite residue is filtered, dewatered and transformed into Bauxaline©, a product with numerous commercial applications.”

Gardanne, which employs a total of 500 people, has a production capacity of 700,000 tonnes of aluminas per year. Specialty aluminas represent 80% of Gardanne’s sales, while 20% can be attributed to smelter-grade alumina.

Visit www.riotinto.com for additional information.