London-based mining and metals firm Rio Tinto says it will invest $8.4 million to add a remelt furnace at its aluminum production facility in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.
The company says the investment will help it expand the recycling capacity at that site so it can “offer rolled product customers in North America a new, sustainable solution combining low-carbon and recycled aluminum.”
The new remelt furnace will be added at the plant’s casting center to recycle aluminum cuttings from Rio Tinto’s own operations and scrap acquired from rolling mill customers in manufacturing sectors. Those rolling mills typically serve the automotive and packaging industries, according to Rio Tinto.
The company says the remelt furnace will have an initial capacity of 22,000 metric tons of end product per year, with the system expected to be operational at the end of 2021.
“The investment continues Rio Tinto’s focus on enhancing the recycling solutions it offers to customers, supporting the transition to a circular economy,” says Tolga Egrilmezer, Rio Tinto vice president of sales and marketing. “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 aluminum with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world using hydropower.”
Rio Tinto says the rolled product recycling service “will complement the closed-looped solution Rio Tinto is offering to billet customers from 2021, providing high-quality alloys made of low-carbon primary aluminum and recycled content.”