Rio Tinto Alcan Plant in Sebree, Kentucky Signs New Long-Term Power Contract

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MONTREAL - Rio Tinto Alcan has signed its long-term power contract for the Sebree aluminium smelter in Kentucky following an agreement on the terms and conditions of the Big Rivers “unwind” transaction. The new contract will secure power for Sebree’s smelting operations through 2023.

“This is good news for our employees and the local community in Sebree, especially given that the smelter’s current power contract would have expired at the end of 2011,” said Jacynthe Côté, chief executive, Rio Tinto Alcan. “This contract is a key component in the sustainability of our smelting operations in Kentucky.”

Together with Century Aluminum’s Hawesville smelter, which is also included in the extended power contract, the new agreement will help employ approximately 1,200 people in western Kentucky. These two smelters also create an estimated 3,500 indirect jobs in the region, equating to approximately $193 million in annual wages and salaries. Furthermore, Rio Tinto Alcan’s Sebree smelter spends $44 million annually on goods and services from regional vendors.

“We’re very happy with the outcome,” said Stephane Leblanc, Sebree’s plant manager. “There have been many people involved in getting this deal signed and we thank our employees and local union leaders for their support. It was a long and often bumpy road over the past four years. Power is a vital part of our operations and the unwind had to be approved before we could reach a new long-term contract.”

In December 2005, Big Rivers Electric Corporation and E.ON U.S. announced their intention to return both operational control of Big Rivers’ power plants and ownership of the resulting electricity back to Big Rivers in what was commonly known as the “unwind” agreement. E.ON U.S. subsidiaries had been operating the plants since 1998 as part of a lease agreement to assist Big Rivers during a period of financial difficulty.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

Forward-looking Statements

This communication includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this presentation, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this presentation. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Nothing in this communication should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations: Stefano Bertolli, +1-514-848-8151,; Rio Tinto Alcan, Sebree: Kenny Barkley, +1-270-521-7424,;

Source: Rio Tinto Alcan

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations: Stefano Bertolli, +1-514-848-8151, stefano.bertolli at; Rio Tinto Alcan, Sebree: Kenny Barkley, +1-270-521-7424, kenny.barkley at

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