Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group announced this week a US$29 million capex to build a new aluminium recycling plant at its Arvida facility in Quebec. The project will make Rio Tinto the first of North America’s primary aluminium producers to use recycled post-consumer aluminium in the production of aluminium alloys.
The firm says the new aluminium recycling facility will ultimately have a nameplate capacity of 30 thousand metric tons per annum and is expected to go online in about two years. Construction at the site is slated to commence within the next few months. Included in the project will be the installation of a remelting furnace with regenerative burners as well as an automatic aluminium scrap loading system, both of which are to be installed at Arvida’s current buildings.
The new aluminium recycling equipment will use clean aluminium scrap from local sources as feedstock, largely derived from automobile and construction scrap. The scrap aluminium will be melted into aluminium billet at Arvida and other Quebec Rio Tinto facilities.
Rio Tinto says its primary clients for the project will likely emerge from the automotive, packaging, and construction sectors.
Rio Tinto Aluminium Managing Director of Atlantic Operations Sebastien Ross said in a press release that the investment is part of its larger aim at sustainable aluminium production.
“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. This will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ growing demand for responsible and traceable products.”
Rio Tinto estimates that the aluminium recycling plant will create C$30 million in economic benefits for the province of Quebec and add around ten new positions at the plant.