Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) is set to launch its first-ever closed-loop recycling solution, bringing to the North American market a new scrap take-back solution and production of high-quality alloys made with recycled content.
The service, which will be available from 2021, complements the company’s production of low carbon footprint aluminum and is designed to provide customers with greater choice to meet the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products.
“We have developed this new recycling solution after requests from customers who want options to reprocess their extrusion scrap. It’s an offering that combines responsibly produced primary aluminium and recycled metal, demonstrating our commitment to a more sustainable, circular economy,” said Tolga Egrilmezer, Rio Tinto Aluminium vice president sales and marketing in a media release.
“Our hydro-powered operations in Canada produce some of the world’s lowest carbon footprint aluminium,” said Egrilmezer. “We expect this will be the first of many initiatives on the recycling front.”
Rio Tinto will partner with Shawinigan Aluminium Inc (SAI) for its recycling services through a $7 million melting facility being constructed adjacent to SAI’s billet casthouse in Quebec. The facility will have the capacity to recycle 30,000 tonnes of aluminium per year.
Rio Tinto’s technical marketing experts will assist customers in selecting the right recycled content together with the optimal alloy for their specific needs, the company said.
The Anglo-Australian in 2016 launched the industry’s first certified low carbon aluminium, RenewAlTM. In 2018, it became the first company to receive certification from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).
ELYSIS, a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Alcoa supported by Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, is working to further develop a revolutionary smelting technology free of direct carbon emissions.
Earlier this week, shares of Rio Tinto surged higher as JP Morgan and Barclays both upgraded the stock following the exit of CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques.
The unscheduled departure of key executives has left the miner with a “best-in-class balance sheet,” noted JP Morgan, which raised the stock to overweight from neutral despite the company being in a “strategy limbo.”
Rio’s stock rose by 125% during Jacques’ tenure, outperforming BHP by around 30%.
Elsewhere, Barclays said the firm has become “incrementally more bullish” on the Chinese steel and accordingly upgraded its view of Rio to equal weight.