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Diversified miner Rio Tinto has announced a $29-million investment to build new aluminium recycling facility at its Arvida plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

The new recycling plant would expand Rio’s offering of low-carbon aluminium solutions for customers in the automotivepackaging and construction markets, the company told shareholders.

The facility will make Rio the first primary aluminium producer in North America to incorporate recycled post-consumer aluminium into aluminium alloys. 

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. This will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ growing demand for responsible and traceable products,” Rio Tinto aluminium MD of Atlantic Operations Sebastien Ross said.

The recycling center is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2024 and will have an initial capacity of 30 000 t/y. Construction will start in the coming months, 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 of economic benefits in Quebec and will create around 10 new permanent jobs at the Arvida plant.