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Rio Tinto Expands Quebec, Canada, Aluminum Smelter

Rio Tinto, a leading global mining group that focuses on finding, mining and processing the Earth's mineral resources, will invest $1.1 billion to expand its AP60 aluminum smelter at Complexe Jonquière, Quebec, Canada.

This expansion, which will coincide with the gradual closure of potrooms at the Arvida smelter on the same site, will enable the company to continue meeting customers’ demand for low-carbon, high-quality aluminum for use in transportation, construction, electrical and consumer goods. Commissioning of the new pots is scheduled to start in the first half of 2026 and the smelter fully ramped up by the end of 2026.

“This investment is aligned with our strategy to decarbonise our value chains and grow in materials essential for the energy transition,” said Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm. “ Our AP60 technology is already proven and produces some of the lowest carbon aluminum in the world, thanks to the expertise of our highly qualified workforce and access to renewable hydropower. This is the most significant investment in our aluminum business for more than a decade and it will further strengthen Rio Tinto’s high-quality and low-carbon offering to our customers as they also work to reduce their own carbon footprint. I would like to thank both the Government of Canada and Government of Quebec for their support in progressing this project. We are also continuing to work together on the future implementation of the ELYSISTM zero carbon smelting technology at our Quebec facilities.”

The investment will add 96 new AP60 pots, increasing capacity by approximately 160,000 metric tonnes of primary aluminum per year, enough for 400,000 electric cars. As a result, there will be a total of 134 AP60 pots and a capacity of approximately 220,000 tonnes per annum.

“Canada has all it takes to be the global green supplier of choice. And that is why our government is collaborating with key industry actors like Rio Tinto to produce the world’s greenest aluminum,” noted The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “By supporting the production of green metals, we ensure Canada will remain at the forefront of the economy of tomorrow. When economic benefits are paired with a commitment to developing green solutions, it’s a win for our industry, our cleantech ecosystem and our workers.”

Rio Tinto is an Anglo-Australian multinational company that is the world's second-largest metals and mining corporation. The company has operations on six continents, but is mainly concentrated in Australia and Canada, and owns its mining operations through a complex web of wholly and partly owned subsidiaries.

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