Rio Tinto Shutting Quebec Plant, But Keeping Pacific Aluminum

Mining giant Rio Tinto keeping one asset while shuttering another

Rio “will halt half of the [Shawinigan, Quebec] plant’s 100,000 tons-per-year capacity immediately and complete the shut down by the end of November, the company said. The smelter, operated by its Alcan unit, was started in 1942 and employs 425 people, Rio said in the statement. Rio produced 3.8 million tons of aluminum in 2012,” according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the company stopped trying to sell Pacific Aluminum: “Rio put Pacific Aluminium – which houses five aluminium smelters, a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Australia and New Zealand – on the block in 2011, but has failed to find a buyer and decided not to pursue a spin-off to shareholders,” according to Reuters.

“Following a comprehensive review we have also determined that the divestment of Pacific Aluminium for value is not possible in the current environment and it will be reintegrated into the Rio Tinto Alcan group,” Chief Executive Sam Walsh said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.

What Are Current Aluminum Prices?

On Wednesday, August 7, the Indian aluminum cash price fell by 1.5 percent, making it the day’s biggest mover. The aluminum 3-month price saw a 0.2 percent decline on the LME to $1,798 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum declined 0.1 percent to $1,753 per metric ton.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Chinese aluminum closed mixed yesterday. After falling 0.2 percent, the cash price of Chinese aluminum reached a 30-day low. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap held steady. The price of Chinese aluminum billet saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row. Chinese aluminum bar held its value yesterday.

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