Rio Tinto Yarwun employees helped the alumina refinery achieve record production last year.
Rio Tinto Yarwun employees helped the alumina refinery achieve record production last year. Alicia Newport

'Robust plan': Yarwun eager to continue its rise

THE men and women in orange have helped secure Gladstone's alumina refinery as a major producer for global mining giant Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto Yarwun general manager Colin McGibbon credited staff at the refinery after fourth quarter results confirmed 2017 was another record year for production.

The refinery produced 3.2 million tonnes of alumina which was shipped to customers in Australia and around the world.

The year prior it shipped 3.17 million tonnes of the commodity.

Last year it was one of two Rio Tinto-owned alumina refineries in the world that increased production.

With a "robust” plan, Mr McGibbon said the company was well-positioned to continue its rise.

"An alumina refinery is a complex operation and it is pleasing to see our employees, contractors and suppliers working together for Rio Tinto Yarwun's sustainable future,” Mr McGibbon said.

"Although the alumina industry faces rising input costs, we will keep up this good work in 2018.

"Our team has a robust plan that I am confident we are well positioned to deliver.”

Out of Rio Tinto's five alumina refineries in the world, Yarwun was one of the two to increase production between 2016 and 2017.

Alumina production for 2017 was in line with 2016, with a strong performance at Yarwun partially offset by lower production at the Queensland Alumina refinery due to major maintenance.

Meanwhile production at Queensland Alumina Limited dropped 113,000 tonnes to 3.7 million tonnes due to major maintenance.

Alumina production dropped 1 per cent overall across the company.

""I am very proud of our people who have put in the hard yards to make sure that the job is done safely and well,” Mr McGibbon said.

"Our teams are always on the look out for improvements, so it is this dedication and innovation that has led to outstanding results.”

Production levels

Rio Tinto Yarwun full year production:

2017: 3,203,000

2016: 3,176,000

2015: 2,864,000

2014: 2,688,000

2013: 2,446,000

2012: 2,175,000



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