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Rio Tinto invests $27 million in new aluminium recycling centre in Québec

Aluminium scrap. Image from Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO, ASX: RIO) announced Friday it is investing C$35million ($26.8m) to build a new aluminium recycling facility at its Arvida Plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

The investment will expand its offering of low-carbon aluminium solutions for customers in the automotive, packaging and construction markets and the facility will make Rio Tinto the first primary aluminium producer in North America to incorporate recycled post-consumer aluminium into aluminium alloys, the company said.

Clean aluminium scrap sourced locally from used vehicles and construction materials will be remelted to produce recycled content that will be used in aluminium billets at the Arvida smelter as well as other products from Rio Tinto’s Quebec facilities.

 “Investing in new recycling facilities in Arvida is another step in our strategy to expand our offering of low carbon aluminium products and integrate the circular economy into our value chain,” Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director of Atlantic Operations Sebastien Ross said in a media statement.

“This will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ growing demand for responsible, traceable and responsible products.”

The recycling center is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2024 and will have an initial capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year.

Construction will begin in coming months, Rio said, with a remelting furnace equipped with regenerative burners and an automated scrap loading system to be installed in an existing building at the Arvida plant.

The project is expected to generate C$30 million ($23m) in economic benefits in Quebec and will create around 10 new permanent jobs at the Arvida Plant.