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Rio Tinto setting up recycled-content aluminum alloys system

Global firm working with Canada’s Shawinigan Aluminium on the project.

September 16, 2020

London-based Rio Tinto says it is setting up a system in cooperation with Quebec, Canada-based Shawinigan Aluminium Inc. (SAI) to “offer customers in Canada and the United States high-quality alloys made with recycled content, with a new service to recycle their aluminum scrap.”

In a website post announcing that the system will start up in 2021, Rio Tinto claims its customers “asked us to find a way to reuse their scrap metal.”

According to Rio Tinto, SAI will build a $7 million “state-of-the-art melting facility” in Quebec. Once completed, the melt shop “will be able to recycle up to 30,000 metric tons of our customers’ aluminum per year,” states the global mining and metals firm. “We will use the recycled scrap to make alloys suited to each customer’s specific needs.”

Rio Tinto says the SAI facility in Quebec will produce alloys used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and aluminum wheels. At the beginning of this year, the company announced the sale of a new alloy created for aluminum wheels that was developed in cooperation with researchers based in Quebec.

The Rio Tinto website post announcing the project does not mention what role independent scrap recycling companies will have in the system.