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Rio Tinto has celebrated seven decades of work at its aluminium smelter in British Columbia, Canada.

The major miner boasts the only aluminium smelter in BC, establishing Rio Tinto as a cornerstone of the local economy.

Rio Tinto BC Works general manager Simon Pascoe said he is proud of the major’s rich history.

“As we celebrate 70 years of operations, we reflect on our rich history and the strong relationships we’ve built with the community,” he said. “For the occasion, we paused to contemplate our journey, acknowledging the transformations undergone along the way and our enduring legacy.

“As future generations are upon us, we remain dedicated to the production of high quality, responsible low-carbon aluminium, while continuing to build authentic relationships with communities, the union, and business partners, all of which play a significant role in the sustainability of our smelter.”

The major hosted a celebration at the Kitimat smelter on June 1 to mark the occasion, which attracted over 1800 attendees. The event featured bus tours of the smelter, live music, kiosks and displays, games and a photobooth.

It also served as a thank you to employees, business partners and the community, with attendees getting to learn about the responsible low-carbon aluminium production process and Rio’s commitment to high-quality standards.

The event also feature the unveiling of a commemorative structure by Haisla artist Paul Windsor, coinciding with the start of National Indigenous History Month.

The aluminium structure symbolises unity, aiming to highlight the connection between the shared history and the significance of Rio’s relationships with Indigenous Peoples.