MONTREAL—Rio Tinto Alcan plans to spend more than US$1 billion to support the construction of key projects in Saguenay, Que. and Kitimat, B.C.
The Montreal-based aluminum division of global mining giant Rio Tinto says $758 million will be earmarked to complete the first phase of its AP60 technology pilot plant in Quebec.
It will also spend $300 million for further construction in preparation for the $2.5-billion modernization of the Kitimat smelter in British Columbia.
Both projects had been slowed by the global recession, which hurt aluminum demand and prices.
Rio Tinto says the AP60 technology will improve productivity by 40 per cent.
The first phase of the AP60 plant will have 38 pots and an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes of aluminum by 2013. The initial work will include infrastructure required for the subsequent phases, which would bring the total production capacity to 460,000 tonnes.
The company broke ground on the Quebec facility earlier this year and had previously received approval to spend $429 million.
Rio Tinto expects to spend about $371 million on the Quebec project by year-end, and $350 million on Kitimat.
PHOTO: Rio Tinto Alcan
© 2010 The Canadian Press