Rio Tinto invests in Kitimat operations

14 November 2023
KITIMAT, Canada – Rio Tinto will invest more than CAN$135 million to replace the alumina conveyor at its Kitimat plant, representing the most substantial investment in the operation since the smelter’s modernization a decade ago. 

The alumina conveyor is essential for Kitimat’s operations, serving as the conduit for transporting approximately 800,000 tonnes of raw alumina per year on a 1.1-kilometre route. Ensuring the integrity and efficiency of this conveyor system is imperative for Kitimat’s success, as alumina is an indispensable component for aluminium production, guaranteeing a reliable and dependable supply.

Additionally, this investment will significantly reduce maintenance requirements and, most crucially, enhance environmental protections by preventing spills and controlling dust emissions. 

The existing conveyor system, constructed in the 1960s, is approaching the end of its functional life. The new system has been designed to have a functional life of 50 years. 

BC Works General Manager Simon Pascoe said: “This project stands as a significant milestone for Kitimat, reaffirming our commitment to operational excellence and environmental responsibility. It not only secures the future of our raw material needs for smelter operations but also charts the course for the next 50 years of aluminium production with one of the world's lowest carbon footprints. We are dedicated to maintaining our position as an industry leader, after successfully bringing the smelter back to full operational capacity in late September, and we look forward to the positive impact this project will have on our operations, the environment, and the community.”

Teams have already begun mobilizing for the project, with full construction and system operationalization anticipated by June 2025.

Please direct all enquiries to

Media Relations
Vanessa Damha
M +1 514 715-2152

Rio Tinto plc

6 St James’s Square
London SW1Y 4AD
United Kingdom
T +44 20 7781 2000

Registered in England
No. 719885

Rio Tinto Limited

Level 43, 120 Collins Street
Melbourne 3000
T +61 3 9283 3333

Registered in Australia
ABN 96 004 458 404

Category: BC Works