- What we produce
Boyne Smelters Limited
Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) is the largest shareholder in the Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) joint venture.
BSL has been in operation since 1982 and over time has undergone extensive expansion. The smelter underwent a A$1 billion expansion in 1997 introducing a third reduction line which increased aluminium production from 260,000 to more than 558,000 tonnes per annum.
The company is once again undergoing significant modernisation with the re-building of Carbon Baking Furnace 3 and the construction of a new Carbon Baking Furnace 4 to upgrade technology. The new furnace will be more energy efficient and reduce onsite greenhouse gas emissions. A further project includes overhead crane replacement, a crane runway upgrade and an improved alumina transport system to the cells. These projects will modernise and extend the life of Boyne Smelters Limited and at investment of A$685 million.
Like all Rio Tinto Alcan managed sites, BSL operates under the safety principle - "The Goal is Zero" which aims to create a workplace free from incidents and injuries.
RTA is working to establish a safety culture that is grounded on the belief that all incidents and injuries are preventable, and that each employee is entitled to a safe work environment. Improvements have been made to safety performance via a number of initiatives including the Take 5 (pre-task hazard assessment process), safety interactions, increased focus on the application of work standards, and the recognition and communication of safety incidents and improvements.
BSL is committed to building enduring relationships with the community based on mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment. Our aim is to be a valued community member and to contribute to the enduring sustainability of the region.
BSL has an overriding commitment to environmental responsibility, and aims to achieve best practice by minimising waste, emissions and impacts associated with our activities through the implementation of effective mitigation and management strategies.
A good example is the redistribution of spent cell lining, which is a solid waste from the smelting process. As part of a programme established in 2004, spent cell lining was transported to Cement Australia for use as an alternative fuel in the production of cement.
Currently BSL employs over 1,300 people (including contractors) in a variety of roles including operation, maintenance, technical and administration based roles. Efforts are made to employ locally and the business supports a policy to employ and retain highly capable and enthusiastic people, who enjoy their work and are committed to contributing to the business.
Aluminium is produced in large electrolytic reduction cells, which are housed in one kilometre long Reduction Lines. Alumina, the raw material for aluminium production, is transported from Queensland Alumina Limited along a 10 kilometre conveyor system.
To convert alumina powder to primary aluminium an electrolytic reduction reaction known as the Hall-Heroult process is carried out. In this process Alumina (Al2O3) is fed into cells at regular intervals where it dissolves in a bath of molten cryolite (sodium aluminium fluoride). An electric current of 232,000 DC amperes for Lines 1 and 2, and 347,000 DC amperes for Line 3, is passed through the carbon anodes suspended in the bath material causing the oxygen in the alumina to separate, and to combine with the carbon of the anodes. The aluminium settles to the bottom of the reduction cell as molten aluminium which is siphoned off daily and transferred to the metal casting facility where it is cast into three main shapes, namely ingots, billet and t-bar. The carbon anodes used in this process are also made on-site in the Carbon Baking Furnaces.
Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund
The Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund was established in 2002 to provide RTA an opportunity to contribute strategically to the sustainable development and economic growth of the Gladstone region. Over the past eight years and continuing into 2010 the fund will contribute A$3 million to the region through partnership projects that will enhance skill and diversity in our workforces, contribute to sustainable employment opportunities and promote environmental awareness and liveability programmes for the region.
|Production (2009)||556,000 tonnes|
|Products||T-bar, ingot, billet|
|Operation commenced production||1982|
|Rio Tinto Alcan ownership||59.39 per cent Rio Tinto Alcan 9.5 per cent YKK Aluminium 9.29 per cent SLM Australia 7.71 per cent SLMA No. 2 6.46 per cent Ryowa Development II 5.19 per cent Ryowa Development 2.46 per cent Sumitomo Chemical|
|Markets||Asia, Australia, USA|
|Alumina supply||Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL)|
|Lease area||Boyne Island|
|Technology / Mining process||Lines 1 and 2: Sumitomo cells; Line 3: Pechiney AP30 cells|
Site address: Handley Drive, Boyne Island QLD 4680
Postal address: PO Box 524 Gladstone QLD 4680
Phone: +61 7 4973 0211
Community hotline: 1800 886 414