Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group, construction firm Lafarge Canada, and its subsidiary Geocycle Canada have created a marketable product using used potlining, preventing it from ending up in landfills.
The new product, dubbed Alextra, is the product of a great deal of research into the problem of used potlining and is part of the firm’s circular economy initiative. Lafarge Canada will ultimately produce about 1 million metric tons of cement each year using Alextra as an ingredient in place of alumina and silica once the production process is at full speed.
Rio Tinto says the two parties will continue to explore options for expanding the supply of Alextra from Rio Tinto’s Potlining Treatment Plant in Saguenay-Lac-St Jean to Lafarge Canada’s plants throughout the dominion.
Stéphane Poirier, Rio Tinto Aluminium manager of valorization and marketing said in a press release that the product is the result of the firm’s continuing efforts at greater sustainability.
“This partnership shows how Rio Tinto is innovating to find new ways to reuse waste, generating value from our operations and reducing their environmental footprint. We have worked closely with Lafarge Canada and Geocycle Canada over the past two years to develop a product that meets their needs and look forward to building on this partnership.”
Travis Smith, Geocycle Canada senior manager, elaborated upon the importance of the project.
“As a global leader in building materials, we are committed to living up to the responsibility of helping to create a zero waste future. In order to achieve this goal, we need progressive partners such as Rio Tinto, and we look forward to what the future holds as we work to reduce our demand on virgin materials and deliver sustainable products.”
Rio Tinto did not specify a timeline for the commencement of full-scale production of Alextra.