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Rio Tinto’s 4th-qtr. aluminum output falls 6% year on year

Keywords: Tags  Rio Tinto, aluminum, bauxite, alumina, Alma, Metal Bulletin, Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — Rio Tinto Plc’s fourth-quarter aluminum output fell 6 percent year on year to 906,000 tonnes due to a lockout at its Alma smelter in Canada.

Year-over-year output was 55,000 tonnes lower in the fourth quarter of 2012 but up 51,000 tonnes from the previous quarter.

Rio Tinto’s total annual production for aluminum—which includes the Rio Tinto Alcan and Pacific Aluminium units and two other smelters—fell 10 percent year on year in 2012 to 3.46 million tonnes.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, aluminum output at Rio Tinto Alcan was 587,000 tonnes, down from 600,000 tonnes in the year-ago quarter but up from 538,000 tonnes in third-quarter 2012. The fall was mainly due to the impact of the Alma lockout, the company said.

The ramp-up in production at Alma continues following a labor deal reached in July, Rio Tinto said in a statement (, Aug. 29).

Rio Tinto Alcan operated the Alma smelter at one-third capacity for the first six months of 2012 after the labor dispute saw the company declare force majeure (, Jan. 5, 2012).

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