Plant equipment at Yarwun Refinery

Non-managed operations

Alumar Refinery


Product: Alumina

The Alumar alumina refinery, in São Luís, Maranhão, north east Brazil, started operations in 1984 and has been an important economic driver in the region ever since. The majority of the employees are hired locally. The refinery is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (10%), with the remaining 90% owned by South32 and Alcoa.

Expansions in 2009 more than doubled production and, today, Alumar produces approximately 3.8 million tonnes of alumina per year.

The refinery is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (10%), with the remaining 90% owned by South32 and Alcoa.

Alumar from the air
São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil



Product: Copper

Escondida, in northern Chile, is the world’s largest copper mine. It produces around 1 million tonnes a year, accounting for 6% of global production1.

The mine, located in the hyper-arid northern Atacama Desert, is operating with 100% renewable power by tapping into Chile’s rich solar and wind resources.

Since 2019, Escondida operates only with desalinated water eliminating the usage of groundwater.

Escondida is owned by Rio Tinto (30%), BHP (57.5%) and JECO Corporation consortium comprising Mitsubishi, JX Nippon Mining and Metals (10%), JECO 2 Ltd (2.5%).

Escondida is managed by BHP. We provide regular input on strategic and policy matters through participation in an Owners’ Council, advisory committees and other engagements.

Escondida mine, Chile
Escondida, Northern Chile

Gladstone Power Station


The Gladstone Power Station (GPS) in Queensland, Australia, is a world-class facility providing customers with safe, reliable, low-cost electricity.

The GPS was built by the Queensland Government and started operating in 1976. Today, GPS is Queensland’s largest single power station and an important generating facility in the National Electricity Market.

GPS is operated by NRG Gladstone Operating Services. Rio Tinto owns 42.125 % of the station along with NRG Energy Inc. (37.5%), Southern Cross GPS Pty Ltd (8.25%), Ryowa II GPS II Ltd (7.125%) and YKK GPS (Qld) Pty Ltd (4.75%).


GPS ensures that it minimises the environmental impacts related to its operation through a range of programs and by ensuring that waste products are recycled or treated, monitored and controlled.

GPS participates in the Port Curtis Integrated Monitoring Program, a joint arrangement with other industries to monitor water quality of the Port Curtis Waterway and the Clean and Healthy Air for Gladstone program to monitor air quality in the local region.

GPS conducts regular environmental awareness training and encourages all employees to consider energy consumption and protection of the environment.

Gladstone Power Station
Gladstone Power Station

Mineração Rio do Norte


Product: Bauxite

The Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) mine in Porto Trombetas, northern Brazil opened in 1979.

It is the country’s largest bauxite mine, with an installed capacity of 18 million tonnes of bauxite per year, currently producing 12.5 mtpy.

MRN is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (22%), South32 (33%), and Glencore (45%).

Non-managed operation Porto Trombetas
Porto Trombetas, Brazil

La Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée


Product: Bauxite

La Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) bauxite mine, in the Sangaredi Plateau, north western Guinea, opened in 1973 and has an annual capacity of 18.5 million tonnes of high quality bauxite.

Rio Tinto owns 22.95% of the mine via a stake in Halco which holds 51% of the mine’s shares. The remaining 49% of shares are owned by the Guinean Government.

Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée SA (CBG)
Boké, Guinea

Queensland Alumina Limited

Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) in Gladstone, Queensland, began operations in 1967.

Today, it is one of the world’s largest alumina refineries, producing approximately 3.7 million tonnes of the world’s best smelter-grade alumina per year.

QAL is an independently managed joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (80%) and Rusal (20%).

In 2018, QAL announced a 5-year, $260 million investment in the refinery as part of a 5-Year Environmental Strategy, developed to improve QAL’s environmental performance, including air quality, odour, noise, employee culture, land and water management. Now that most of the 60 projects are defined, the program is estimated to see an investment of $480 million. See QAL’s progress.

Our contribution to the broader Gladstone community is through Here for Gladstone, which is supported by Rio Tinto YarwunBoyne 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 community programs in 2002, Rio Tinto 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 were 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.

Queensland Alumina Limited from the air
Queensland Alumina Limited



Product: Aluminium

Sohar Aluminium, which began operating in 2008, is the Sultanate of Oman’s first greenfield aluminium smelter.

Approximately 60% of the production is earmarked for sale as liquid metal to local downstream industries, while the rest is exported as solid aluminium.

The company also operates a dedicated port facility at the Port of Sohar, which can handle vessels up to 75,000 tonnes.

Sohar Aluminium is jointly owned by Rio Tinto (20%), Oman Oil Company (OQ) (40%), and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) (40%).

Non-managed operation Sohar
Sultanate of Oman



Product: Aluminium

Tomago Aluminium in Tomago, New South Wales in Australia, has been operating since 1983 and today is Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, producing up to 590,000 tonnes of aluminium per year.

Tomago Aluminium is an independently managed joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (51.55%), Gove Aluminium Finance Limited (36.05%) and Hydro Aluminium (12.40%).

The company contributes $2.2 billion annually to the Australian economy, of which $800 million is spent locally. The smelter produces 590,000 tonnes of aluminium every year, which is 37% of Australia’s primary aluminium. 90% of the product made at Tomago is exported to the Asia-Pacific region.

Innovation at Tomago

Tomago’s emissions are among the lowest recorded by any aluminium smelter in the world. Emissions created during the smelting process pass through ducting to treatment plants, known as dry scrubbers, where impurities are removed.

Tomago has a comprehensive environmental management program, focusing on emissions control and incorporating one of the world’s most advanced pollution-control and environmental protection systems.

Among the emissions carried to the dry scrubbers are fluorides, which, with other fumes and dust, form particles that are captured in large filter bags. These particles are returned to the smelter as feed material. This process is more than 99% effective in removing fluoride from the gases collected. <

Tomago community

At Tomago, we have an out-of-pay donation scheme by which employee donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the company. In 2023, our Workplace Giving Program raised $130,000 with $80,000 donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and the rest being split between The Starlight Foundation, Jenny's Place, Calvery Mater Haematology Unity and Hunter Melanoma Foundation.

Sourcing locally

Tomago contributes $2.2 billion annually to the Australian economy, of which $800 million is spent locally.

Tomago has partnerships with more than 500 suppliers from the Hunter Region, and works with them to deliver results through continuous improvement and innovation.

Tomago employs 1000+ staff (full time equivalent) as well as 200 contractors. Our staff are drawn from a significant geographic area throughout the Hunter Valley and Central Coast, travelling from as far as 100 kilometres south, 80 kilometres north and 50 kilometres west of the plant. Ensuring that our people are safe while they are at work is one of the main drivers of our business.

Repowering the smelter

Tomago uses 950MW of constant power, which is 12% of New South Wales’s demand – the largest load in Australia. We’re aiming for more than 50% renewable electricity by 2030, and aspire to 100% renewables by 2035.

Tomago, Australia
Tomago, New South Wales, Australia
  • Footnote

    1 2023 reference

Related content

Train running past meadow


Bringing to market materials critical to urbanisation and the transition to a low-carbon economy
Aerial photo of vehicles driving on dirt road towards Pic de Fon from Canga East Camp, Simandou, Guinea


Our projects across the world
Bauxite loading onto ship at export facility, Weipa Operations

Marine and logistics

Our Marine team orchestrates and operates one of the largest dry bulk fleets in the world