25 years of partnership and success in research and development for bauxite and tailings processing technologies

19 October 2021

Rio Tinto and UQAC renew their partnership

25 years of partnership and success in research and development for bauxite and tailings processing technologies

SAGUENAY, QC, Oct. 19 – The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) and Rio Tinto announced that they have renewed their partnership for the next three years. In concrete terms, the company is investing more than $2 million over three years to continue R&D in bauxite and tailings processing technologies. This commitment marks the symbolic 25-year milestone of the partnership between the two organizations, specifically in the area of bauxite and tailings treatment technologies and alumina manufacturing.

The scientific director of the partnership, researcher Guy Simard of the Centre Universitaire de Recherche sur l'Aluminium (CURAL), is very proud of this partnership that has been evolving over time: "Tomorrow's issues are the challenges of today's students and researchers. The close ties we have forged with Rio Tinto over the years have enabled us to work on research projects involving the reclamation of tailings, thus allowing us to immerse our students in the academic and industrial reality, while ensuring that we train a highly qualified new generation of researchers, in support of tomorrow's aluminium industry."

Josette Ross, Director of the Arvida Research and Development Centre for Rio Tinto, said: "We are very pleased to be renewing this exclusive R&D partnership with the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, which has been a source of great achievements for almost 25 years. The alumina manufacturing process and the reclamation of by-products are essential to the production of low-carbon aluminium in Quebec. Our partnership allows us both to continually improve our techniques and equipment used in this process, and to train the next generation of researchers."

In addition to ensuring the continuity of its collaboration until 2023, this partnership allows UQAC to strengthen its position and that of the region among the world leaders in aluminium research and development. According to Mohamed Bouazara, UQAC's Vice-Rector, Research, Creation, and Innovation: "A partnership like this guarantees a certain stability in the development of our aluminium research and helps maintain cutting-edge research infrastructures and laboratories equipped with the latest technology."

About UQAC:

Founded in 1969, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) is part of the largest university network in Canada: Université du Québec. With the success of its 60,000 graduates, UQAC welcomes 6,500 students every year, including more than 1,550 from some 50 countries around the world. Renowned for the close relationship that exists between its students and professors, UQAC offers a unique experience as well as more than 200 programs of study. For research, the institution is recognized as one of the most productive universities in Quebec with its research partnerships. Throughout its history, it has developed several research niches, which has allowed it to stand out in the world.


Rio Tinto

Malika Cherry, Advisor, Media Relations – Canada and United States

Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Karine Gagnon, Information Officer, Communcations and Public Relations Department
418 545-5011, poste 5006

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Category: Saguenay