Rio Tinto has renewed a long term agreement with Scepter, an internationally recognised leader in aluminium dross and scrap recycling, for the treatment of by-product from the aluminium smelting process known as “skims”, in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region, Quebec, Canada.

Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations Gervais Jacques said: “This partnership demonstrates our commitment to responsible production and to realising the full environmental benefits from aluminium as a recyclable material. Instead of going to landfill, the by-product from our smelting processes is being recycled and used by Scepter to deliver specialised materials, a win-win outcome. The technology that makes this possible was pioneered by Rio Tinto’s Research and Development Centre here in Saguenay, Quebec.”

The companies have been working together since 2002 and this new agreement extends the partnership for another ten years. Scepter will invest approximately three million dollars to further improve the efficiency of their recycling process.

Scepter president and CEO, Garney B. Scott said: “This multimillion dollar investment represents a long-term commitment for Scepter to serve Rio Tinto, while simultaneously growing and securing the jobs we provide in Saguenay. Our company will continue to strive and invest in sustainable solutions like environmentally friendly dross processing that can recycle residual sub products.”

The skimming process used by Scepter is entirely free of CO2 emissions, in line with Rio Tinto’s commitment to producing some of the highest quality, lowest carbon footprint aluminium in the world.

The treatment of aluminium skims is executed by a unique electric plasma arc process and allows Scepter to recycle an average of 60% of the aluminium from the skims. The second product generated by the treatment process is upgraded into Noval, used in cement manufacturing and calcium aluminate productions for steel mill use.