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Photo by:Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Diversified major Rio Tinto has announced a $8.4-million investment to expand the recycling capacity of its aluminium operations in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

The expansion would offer rolled product customers in North America a new, sustainable solution combining low-carbon and recycled aluminium.

A new remelt furnace will be added at the Laterrière plant’s casting centre to recycle aluminum cuttings from Rio’s operations and rolling mill customers in manufacturing sectors, producing rolling ingots for the automotive and packaging industries.

With an initial capacity of 22 000 t/y of remelted aluminum, the new aluminum recycling system is expected to be operational at the end of 2021.

“The investment continues Rio’s focus on enhancing the recycling solutions it offers to customers, supporting the transition to a circular economy,” said Rio’s VP of sales and marketing, Tolga Egrilmezer.

“This new furnace will allow us to provide a recycling service to our customers for scrap from their manufacturing processes, helping them meet the growing consumer demand for sustainable products. This innovative step will add to our responsible production in Quebec, where we produce aluminium with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world using hydropower.”

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 rolled product recycling service will complement the closed loop solution Rio is offering to billet customers from 2021, providing high quality alloys made of low carbon primary aluminium and recycled content.