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Soft Aluminum Prices Hit Rio Tinto Alcan

Friday, Aug 09, 2013

Soft prices for aluminum have impacted Rio Tinto Alcan.The company will immediately curtail 50,000 tonnes of production at it’s Shawinigan smelter in Quebec. Additionally, Rio Tinto Alcan plans to “progressively curtail the remaining 50,000 tonnes of capacity by the end ofNovember 2013″.

?tienne Jacques, chief operating officer, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal North America stated, “Rio Tinto Alcan understands that the Shawinigan aluminium smelter is an important part of the  Canada’s industrial history and we will work with our key stakeholders to ensure that we manage any impact caused by this curtailment has in the most sensitive and respectful way.”

“This decision follows a strategic review that explored every option for continuing smelting operations; due to dated technology and continued weakness in aluminium prices, Shawinigan’s primary aluminium capacity is not currently sustainable,” said Arnaud Soirat, chief executive officer of Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal. “We will work closely with our valued customers to limit the impact of this decision.”

Located in Quebec, Canada, the Shawinigan smelter was commissioned in 1942 and employs 425 people. Rio Tinto Alcan will provide any employees impacted as a result of the curtailment of production with re-training and job-search assistance through the company’s comprehensive employee assistance program and through collaboration with regional and provincial partners.

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