30 September 2010

Rio Tinto Alcan's Laterriere Works smelter returns to full production ahead of schedule

Rio Tinto Alcan's 235,000 tonne Laterriere Works aluminium smelter in Quebec, Canada, has returned to full production after a July 2010 power outage forced the temporary closure of one of the plant's two potlines. The process of gradually restarting the 216 pots on the suspended production line began in early August 2010.

"Laterriere's return to full production is excellent news. The fact that the restart was completed safely, weeks ahead of schedule, and without incident is a tremendous accomplishment," said Étienne Jacques, vice-president, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal in the Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean region. The support that Laterriere received from
colleagues and valued suppliers from across the entire region was very encouraging during these challenging months. We are proud of the teamwork, determination and continued commitment to safety displayed by all those involved during this project. They truly demonstrate this region's expertise in aluminium."  

On 6 July 2010, two of Laterriere's electrical transformers failed leaving the plant without the adequate energy required to operate at full capacity. As a result of the incident, one of Laterriere Works' two production lines was suspended.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

For further information, please contact:

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations
Bryan Tucker
Tel.: +1 514 848 8151
bryan.tucker@riotinto.com

Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean Region
Claudine Gagnon
Tel.: +1 418 699 4005
claudine.gagnon@riotinto.com