Rio Tinto is investing $29m (ca. CAD35m) to build a new aluminium recycling facility at its Arvida Plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, in the Canadian province of Quebec. The new facility will allow it to expand its offering of low-carbon aluminium solutions for customers in the automotive, packaging and construction markets, the metals concern said at the end of last month.
The facility will make Rio Tinto the first primary aluminium producer in North America to incorporate recycled post-consumer aluminium into aluminium alloys. “Investing in new recycling facilities in Arvida is another step in our strategy to expand our offering of low carbon aluminium products and integrate the circular economy into our value chain," explained Sebastien Ross, aluminium managing director of Atlantic operations for Rio Tinto.
The recycling center is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2024 and will have an initial capacity of 30,000 tons per year. Construction will begin in coming months, with a remelting furnace equipped with regenerative burners and an automated scrap loading system to be installed in an existing building at the Arvida plant.
According to Rio Tinto, locally sourced aluminium scrap derived from used vehicles and construction materials will be remelted to produce recycled content for use in aluminium billets at the Arvida smelter or other products made at Rio Tinto's facilities in the region.