Anglo-Australian metals mining giant Rio Tinto Group announced last week its decision to cease operations at Aluchemie, its stand-alone anode production plant in the Netherlands.
Rio Tinto said in a press release that the plant is a victim of a strategic review it conducted of the plant, citing a weak competitive position and difficult market conditions.
Aluchemie will begin the process of shutting down at once, with the goal of completing the task by year’s end. Rio’s first order of business is initiating the consultation process with the relevant local works councils and union representatives.
Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said in a press release that its current focus is properly conducting closure at the site.
“We have carefully considered options to make Aluchemie competitive, however the investments required to continue operations are not viable. We recognise this will impact employees and the community, and our focus now will turn to supporting the team at Aluchemie as they work with stakeholders to plan a safe and responsible closure.”
Aluchemie began in Rotterdam in the 1960s and is owned as a partnership between Rio Tinto and Norsk Hydro. With four of seven anode-baking furnaces in mothballs, the site’s 220 workers produce about 216 thousand metric tons of anodes per year.