Export wharf at BSL

Boyne Smelters Limited






Production (2023 Rio Tinto share of 59.4%)



2023 figures

Boyne Island, Queensland

Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) has been operating since 1982 and is Australia’s second largest aluminium smelter. The operation is located at Boyne Island in Central Queensland and activities include manufacturing carbon anodes in the carbon plant, aluminium production (smelting) in reduction lines, and casting of molten metal into aluminium products ready to ship. The smelter is adjacent to, and connected via a conveyor belt, to the Queensland Alumina Limited Refinery for the supply of alumina.

BSL is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (73.5%), YKK Aluminium (9.50%), UACJ Australia (9.29%) and Southern Cross Aluminium (7.71%).

Ship at dock

Partnering for a green industrial future for Central Queensland

In January 2023, we signed a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with European Energy Australia to drive development of Australia’s largest solar power project near Gladstone. Under the agreement, we will buy all electricity from the 1.1GW Upper Calliope Solar Farm for 25 years, to provide renewable power to our Gladstone operations.


If combined with more renewable power and suitable firming, transmission and industrial policy, it could power our 3 Gladstone production assets - the Boyne aluminium smelter, the Yarwun alumina. The plant will be built and operated by European Energy, at a site about 50 kilometres south-west of Gladstone, pending development and grid connection approvals.

Once approved and developed, Upper Calliope would have the potential to lower our operating carbon emissions by 1.8 million tonnes per year.

“This agreement is a first important step in our work to repower our Gladstone operations and illustrates our commitment to keeping sustainably powered industry in Central Queensland,” Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive, said.

“The task remains challenging, but we have a pathway to provide the competitive, firmed power our Gladstone plants need and we are continuing to work hard with all stakeholders, including the Queensland and Australian governments, on getting there.

“Competitive capacity, firming, and transmission, are critical to developing a modern energy system that can ensure more large-scale renewables development in Queensland and help guarantee the future of Australian industry.”


BSL has expanded significantly since the smelter opened in 1982. A series of multimillion dollar investments increased its capacity from 210,000 tonnes of aluminium per year to today’s capacity of more than 500,000 tonnes of aluminium a year.

BSL continues to invest in a range of technologies including automation projects and also looks for ways to be more energy efficient.  For example, in 2018, BSL implemented a A$23 million Undercell Bus Bar project to increase production by an estimated 9,200 tonnes of metal a year without using additional electricity. 

Employees at Boyne Smelters

BSL communities

At BSL our contribution to the broader Gladstone community is through Here for Gladstone, which is supported by Rio Tinto Yarwun, Boyne Smelters Limited and QAL. Here For Gladstone's formal programs are governed by a board made up of community and business leaders.

Since we started with our formal program in 2002, Here for Gladstone has invested A$7.2 million into the Gladstone community across a wide range of projects to improve the health, livelihood and welfare of the Gladstone community.

For example, feedback showed the Gladstone community are concerned about economic development and diversification. So, in consultation with the community, we launched the Here for Business program in late 2017 that provides free business coaching and interest-free micro-finance loans to new or expanding businesses. There have been 36 businesses participating in the program with 166 local jobs created.

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We know our operations can have far-reaching impacts on society.

Skills development

At BSL we are fortunate to be able to work with Education Queensland and support an onsite learning centre (Education Queensland and Industry Partnership Business, Industry and Tourism skills centre) that helps students gain work experience to complete their studies.

In addition, BSL’s apprenticeship program provides people with skills and qualifications to work in the smelting industry. At BSL we pride ourselves on providing quality training in a dynamic environment where apprentices are mentored as they work, allowing them to gain a variety of skills and become experienced tradespeople.

We have a long-standing history of providing apprenticeships, mostly to school leavers looking to start their trade careers, and we generally employ apprentices in the trades of mechanical, electrical, and diesel fitting. Since 2012 we have extended the apprenticeship program to existing employees who wish to build on their experience by gaining a trade.

Sourcing locally

At BSL we are committed to contributing to the sustainable development of our community and one of the ways we do this is by striving to employ local people and buy local goods and services. Approximately 73% of our expenditure, including electricity, is sourced from Gladstone suppliers.

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Discover more about life at Rio Tinto.

Contact BSL

Boyne Smelters Ltd

Handley Drive
Boyne Island QLD 4680

E: BSL Enquiries
T: 1800 886 414

Postal address

PO Box 524
Gladstone QLD 4680

Community hotline

T: 1800 886 414