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Rio Tinto PLC   -  RIO   

Rio Tinto to review future of ISAL smelter

Released 08:00 12-Feb-2020

RNS Number : 6917C
Rio Tinto PLC
12 February 2020
 

Rio Tinto to review future of ISAL smelter

 

12 February 2020

 

Rio Tinto will conduct a strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland, to determine the operation's ongoing viability and explore options to improve its competitive position.

 

ISAL is expected to remain unprofitable in the short to medium term in the challenging conditions facing the aluminium industry, due to the smelter's uncompetitive energy costs and historically low aluminium prices.

 

Rio Tinto will continue discussions with the Government of Iceland and power provider Landsvirkjun on how the smelter can return to profitability and become competitive in the global market.

 

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said "We have worked intensively to improve ISAL's performance, however it is currently unprofitable and cannot compete in the challenging market conditions due to its high power costs.

 

"Rio Tinto will review options for the smelter, with the aim of finding a solution for ISAL to become an economically viable business.

 

"ISAL makes a significant contribution to Iceland's economy and we will work closely with stakeholders who have a shared interest in a strong future for the smelter, including the government, Landsvirkjun, employees, unions and the local community."

 

The strategic review will consider all options including curtailment and closure, and will be complete in the first half of 2020.

 

Production at ISAL has already been reduced to 85 per cent of the smelter's capacity due to its lack of profitability.

 

ISAL is wholly owned by Rio Tinto and around 500 people work at the site.

 

Contacts

 

media.enquiries@riotinto.com 

riotinto.com 

 

  Follow @RioTinto on Twitter

 

 

Media Relations, United Kingdom

Illtud Harri

M +44 7920 503 600

 

David Outhwaite

T +44 20 7781 1623

M +44 7787 597 493

 

Media Relations, Americas

Matthew Klar

T +1 514 608 4429

 

Media Relations, Asia

Grant Donald

T +65 6679 9290

M +65 9722 6028

 

Media Relations, Australia

Jonathan Rose

T +61 3 9283 3088

M +61 447 028 913

 

Matt Chambers

T +61 3 9283 3087

M +61 433 525 739

 

Jesse Riseborough

T +61 8 6211 6013

M +61 436 653 412

 

Investor Relations, United Kingdom

Menno Sanderse
T: +44 20 7781 1517
M: +44 7825 195 178

 

David Ovington

T +44 20 7781 2051

M +44 7920 010 978

 

 

Investor Relations, Australia

Natalie Worley

T +61 3 9283 3063

M +61 409 210 462

 

Amar Jambaa

T +61 3 9283 3627
M +61 472 865 948

 

Group Company Secretary

Steve Allen

Rio Tinto plc

6 St James's Square

London SW1Y 4AD

United Kingdom

T +44 20 7781 2000

Registered in England

No. 719885

 

Joint Company Secretary

Tim Paine

Rio Tinto Limited

Level 7, 360 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000

Australia

T +61 3 9283 3333

Registered in Australia

ABN 96 004 458 404




This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto's Group Company Secretary.


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Rio Tinto to review future of ISAL smelter - RNS