Rio Tinto and Giampaolo Group Join Forces for Low-Carbon Aluminum Production

Rio Tinto and Giampaolo Group Join Forces for Low-Carbon Aluminum Production

Rio Tinto, a global leader in aluminum production, and Giampaolo Group, one of North America’s largest fully-integrated metal management businesses, have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture focused on manufacturing and marketing recycled aluminum products. The joint venture is driven by the partners’ shared commitment to meeting the rising demand for low-carbon aluminum, a crucial material in the ongoing energy transition.

As per the agreement, Rio Tinto will acquire a 50% equity stake in Giampaolo Group’s wholly-owned Matalco business for $700 million, subject to standard closing adjustments. Matalco is a prominent producer of high-quality recycled aluminum billet and slab products, operating six facilities in the United States and one in Canada, with an annual capacity of approximately 900,000 tonnes of recycled aluminum.

Under the joint venture, Giampaolo Group subsidiary Triple M Metal will handle the supply of recyclable feed to Matalco, while the current Matalco leadership team will continue to manage its operations. After a transition period following the transaction’s completion, Rio Tinto will be responsible for sales and marketing of Matalco products.

The partnership will enable Rio Tinto to offer a broader range of high-quality and low-carbon primary, recycled, and blended aluminum products, aligning with customers’ increasing interest in lowering their carbon footprint. At the same time, the joint venture will expand Matalco’s service offerings to a wider customer base and secure access to low-carbon primary metal for its operations. Recycled aluminum is projected to account for over half of the United States’ demand by 2028.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is anticipated to be finalized in the first half of 2024.

Rio Tinto has been actively investing in low-carbon aluminum production in North America, including the expansion of AP60 technology at its Arvida aluminum smelter, establishing new recycling capabilities at the same facility, and increasing billet production capacity at the Alma smelter, all in Québec.

Additionally, Rio Tinto is collaborating with the Governments of Canada and Québec for the deployment of the ELYSIS zero-carbon aluminum smelting technology at its Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean facilities. The ELYSIS joint venture aims to make its technology available for installation by 2024, with larger volumes of carbon-free aluminum production approximately two years later.

Founded over 50 years ago in Toronto, Ontario, the Giampaolo Group focuses on the recycling industry and has evolved into a multinational integrated metal corporation. Matalco, established in 2005, is a leading producer of recycled aluminum billet and slab, offering a variety of products while relying on Triple M Metal for the supply of recyclable raw materials.

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