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NEWS RELEASE · 15th March 2011
Rio Tinto Alcan
Rio Tinto reaches agreement to purchase Eurocan Wharf in British Columbia

Rio Tinto has reached an agreement with West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. to purchase its former Eurocan Wharf facility in Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada. This acquisition will secure increased wharfing space in anticipation of Kitimat aluminium smelter modernisation project.

"This investment in Kitimat will help us move forward with the modernisation project and allow us to accommodate the increase in aluminium production and raw materials that will be shipped in and out of Kitimat in the future," said Paul Henning, Vice president, British Columbia Operations and Strategic Projects, Western Canada, Rio Tinto Alcan. "Rio Tinto remains committed to its operations in British Columbia and looks forward to broader import and export growth in this key region."

The purchase is subject to obtaining certain government approvals for the transfer of related permits and licenses, which are expected to be finalised by the end of 2011. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

In December 2010, Rio Tinto announced an additional US$300 million investment for further construction and preparations for the modernised Kitimat smelter. The Kitimat modernisation project would increase the smelter's current production capacity by more than 48 per cent to approximately 420,000 tonnes per year. The new facility would be powered exclusively by hydroelectricity and use Rio Tinto Alcan's proprietary AP Technology™ to reduce its emissions intensity by more than 50 per cent per year.