Rio Tinto closes its Beauharnois plant

(Montreal) Rio Tinto has decided to close its ingot factory located in Beauharnois for an indefinite period from Friday due to weak demand for this type of product, which will affect approximately 30 managers and employees.

Posted on October 26, 2020 at 4:42 p.m.

The Canadian Press

The decision was announced on Monday. In a statement, Unifor, the union that represents the site’s employees, said the shutdown will be for a minimum of one year.

The drop in demand – of around 60% according to Unifor – for small foundry ingots used in particular in the automotive sector had caused the plant’s weekly production to fall, which fluctuated between 400 and 500 tonnes. Previously, it produced 1150 tonnes.

In an emailed statement, Rio Tinto also attributed its decision to stiff competition in the market. This decision will have no impact on the group’s annual production in Quebec, estimated at over 1.2 million tonnes.

Production from the Beauharnois plant will be transferred to Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, where Rio Tinto can do this kind of work. Employees may have the opportunity to be relocated.

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