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Rio Tinto and Giampaolo complete aluminium recycling transaction

 Rio Tinto and Giampaolo complete aluminium recycling transaction

(Posted on 03/12/23)

Rio Tinto and Giampaolo Group have completed a transaction to form the Matalco joint venture, combining the strengths of North America's largest primary and secondary aluminium producers to meet the growing demand from manufacturers for low carbon materials.

Following the receipt of all regulatory approvals, Rio Tinto has acquired a 50% equity stake in the Matalco business from Giampaolo Group for $700 million, subject to usual closing adjustments.

As Rio Tinto begins to market Matalco products, Rio Tinto will be able to offer customers a full suite of aluminium products including low-carbon primary aluminium made with hydropower and a diverse portfolio of recycled aluminium solutions.

The investment will expand Rio Tinto’s aluminium business in the US, where demand for recycled aluminium is forecast to increase by more than 70% from 2022 to 2032, driven by the transportation, construction, and packaging sectors. Over the same period, global recycled aluminium consumption is forecast to grow by more than 60%.1

Matalco will remain the operator of the joint venture’s six facilities in the United States and its Canadian site, which together have a capacity to produce approximately 900,000 tonnes of recycled aluminium per annum. Matalco will also continue to provide closed-loop solutions to transform customers’ scrap into high-quality aluminium slab and billet. For the eight-month period ending on 30 September 2023, Matalco produced approximately 400,000 tonnes of recycled aluminium, including 78% billet and 22% slab. For the same period, Matalco generated an EBITDA of $165 per tonne.

Over the last five years, Matalco more than doubled its production capacity. Rio Tinto and Giampaolo Group will be working together to assess opportunities to continue growing the Matalco business and expand output, with an initial focus on North America.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said: “Creating the Matalco joint venture gives Rio Tinto a leading position in the rapidly growing North American recycled aluminium market, allowing us to offer a full complement of low-carbon recycled products. We look forward to working in partnership with Giampaolo Group to support the drive to net zero by expanding recycled production and providing closed-loop recycling solutions to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint.”

Giampaolo Group CEO Chris Galifi said: “We are thrilled about beginning our partnership with Rio Tinto, on forming a joint venture for Matalco. This collaboration showcases our dedication to continuously evolving our production of high-quality, low-carbon aluminium. We look forward to continuing to grow with our new partners while providing products that support sustainability.”

Rio Tinto is a global leader in aluminium, with a large-scale, vertically-integrated business: bauxite mines and alumina refineries as well as smelters producing aluminium certified as responsible. The Matalco joint venture continues Rio Tinto’s investment in building its supply of low carbon aluminium in North America. Previous investments include $1.1 billion to expand the use of its AP60 technology at its Arvida aluminium smelter in June 2023 and $29 million to establish new recycling capabilities at the Arvida smelter in August 2022, both in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec.

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