Norsk Hydro to buy Rio Tinto aluminum assets for $345 million

Norsk Hydro has offered Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) $345 million for the mining giant’s aluminum plant in Iceland, as part of the Norwegian firm’s efforts to ensure its output is as green as possible and also to strengthen its position in Europe.

The proposed acquisition also includes an offer for Rio’s 53% stake in the Aluchemie anode plant in the Netherlands and its 50% share in the Alufluor aluminum fluoride plant in Sweden, Rio Tinto said in a separate statement.

Norsk Hydro currently owns the remaining 47% stake in the Aluchemie plant.

“The offer demonstrates our strong belief in aluminum, which is seeing the strongest global demand growth among base metals,” Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg said.

Rio Tinto said it would launch a consultation process on the offer, and expects to complete the sale in the second quarter of 2018.

The wanted assets, said Norsk Hydro, will increase its capacity to produce primary aluminum by 210,000 tonnes to 2.4 million tonnes this year.