Economy

Rio Tinto to sell aluminium smelter for $US500m

Rio Tinto to sell aluminium smelter for $US500m

Rio Tinto PLC (RIO.LN) said Wednesday that it has received a binding offer from investment company Liberty House to acquire its aluminum smelter in France for $500 million. It said the estimated total aluminium content in European-made cars will rise to 4.3m tonnes from 3.3m tonnes a year by 2024. It believes thousands more jobs could be created at the 570-worker plant as it plans further investment into the site to create an worldwide aluminium products hub to tap into the growing demand for aluminium particular from the automotive sector.

The group has also approached Rio to buy its Australasian aluminium smelting unit, sources say. Aluminium Dunkerque has a high-quality aluminium operation benefitting from a top-class workforce and management. "This will be our key strength when embarking on our ambitious plans", said Gupta.

Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto's chief executive for aluminium said: "The binding offer. represents the best option for the development of the site while also delivering value for Rio Tinto as we continue to streamline our portfolio".

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The firm intends to develop the plant into an worldwide centre of aluminum and downstream aluminum products expertise, demonstrating its GREENALUMINIUM strategy. Rio Tinto appears to be in favor of.

Last year, the privately-owned GFG Alliance struck a deal with UK-based tidalpower firm Atlantis Resources to form a listed company, SIMEC Atlantis Energy, that marked Gupta's first step onto the stock market.

The Dunkerque acquisition will further build Liberty House's aluminium base in Europe, following its acquisition in December 2016 of Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in Lochaber, Scotland, in which it is now investing 120 million pounds.


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