Rio Tinto’s ISAL smelter certified for responsible aluminium production

ISAL smelter in Iceland. (Image courtesy of Rio Tinto).

Rio Tinto (ASX, NYSE, LON: RIO) announced that its 52-year-old ISAL smelter in Iceland received a responsible aluminium production certification from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).

The Initiative is a 160-member global, multi-stakeholder, non-profit standards setting and certification organization that works towards the responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium following an entire value chain approach.

Rio’s recent certification indicates that the ISAL smelter’s product meets environmental, social and governance standards. The designation has a provisional status and follows an independent, third-party desktop audit by ERM CVS. 

According to Rio, an onsite audit will be completed when possible after the easing of covid-19 travel restrictions.

ISAL is located in Hafnarfjörður and produces 184,000 tonnes of aluminium per year. The alumina that feeds the smelter is processed in the United States and Ireland and is transported by sea to Iceland.

“Expanding our global offering of independently certified, responsibly produced aluminium to include ISAL aligns with our aim to have consistently high ESG credentials across Rio Tinto,” the company’s chief commercial officer, Alf Barrios, said in a media statement. “This certification can enhance the value ISAL’s high-quality billet delivers for customers in European markets, where there is a growing demand for sustainable products across sectors like construction and automotive.”

Barrios pointed out that Rio was the first company to get certified for ASI Aluminium in 2018. Now, eight smelters across its global supply chain have the Stewardship’s stamp of approval, including its alumina refinery, aluminium smelters and casthouses in Canada, and the Gove, Amrun and Weipa bauxite mines, Yarwun alumina refinery, and the Bell Bay and NZAS aluminium smelters in Australia and New Zealand.

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