Ceramic Industry

Rio Tinto Streamlines Aluminum Product Group

October 19, 2011

Rio Tinto has announced plans to streamline its Aluminum product group following a strategic review. Thirteen assets will be divested at an appropriate point in the future; some of these will be managed separately in the meantime. The move will reportedly allow Rio Tinto Alcan to concentrate on its strategy to grow the value of its high-quality, tier-one assets and improve the product group’s financial performance.

Rio Tinto’s interests in six Australian and New Zealand assets will transfer into a new business unit, to be called Pacific Aluminum, and be managed and reported separately from the Rio Tinto Alcan product group prior to divestment. These are:
  • Australia: Gove bauxite mine and alumina refinery, Boyne smelters and the associated Gladstone Power Station, the Tomago smelter and the Bell Bay smelter
  • New Zealand: New Zealand aluminum smelters

A second group of seven non-core assets will continue to be managed by Rio Tinto Alcan while it further investigates divestment options. These assets include:
  • France and Germany: Three specialty alumina plants and the Gardanne refinery
  • U.S.: Sebree smelter
  • UK: Lynemouth smelter and associated power station, for which potential options include closure.

“The assets identified for divestment are sound businesses that are well-managed with productive workforces,” said Tom Albanese, chief executive. “But they are no longer aligned with our strategy and we believe they have a bright future under new ownership. The strength of our balance sheet means that we can choose the most opportune method and timing to divest these assets, which may not occur until the economic climate improves. In the meantime, we will continue to run these operations safely and efficiently.”

For more information, visit www.riotinto.com.