Celebrating 15 Years at Rio Tinto Yarwun Alumina Refinery Operations

Celebrating 15 Years at Rio Tinto Yarwun Alumina Refinery Operations

On 18 November 2004, the first alumina shipment of 14,270 tonnes left Gladstone Harbour on a vessel called Black Forest to be turned into aluminium in Chila. This month, Yarwun Operations is celebrating 15 years since that day.

Mark Gilmore Rio Tinto Yarwun general manager said “I am thrilled to be celebrating this significant milestone with our employees and contracting partners. Since our first shipment, we have grown from strength to strength, more than doubling production capacity in 2012. Over our 15 years we have produced more than 30 million tonnes of alumina. This has been turned into aluminium that is used all around the world in technology, transport and communications industries.”

“We are a world-class asset with a top team, using industry-leading technologies and practices for alumina production. We process bauxite from far north Queensland and the Northern Territory to extract alumina that is used in Australian and overseas smelters, so we are proud to contribute to the Australian manufacturing value chain.”

“We recognise the importance of Gladstone’s support for our operations and wish to convey our sincere appreciation to the community. We are committed to investing in the region. Over 15 years, we have spent $1.6 billion with local suppliers, $1.2 billion on employee salaries and $6.5 million on community investment, as well as providing opportunities for 200 apprentices and trainees.”

Along with this milestone, 27 employees celebrated their 15 years or more service at Rio Tinto—Kris Jeffrey is one of them. Kris entered the trainee programme in 2004 and was excited about coming to work in a brand new refinery. Since completing the programme, he has had multiple roles across Yarwun, including his current role as superintendent Control Room.

Kris said “I came here on a five-year plan and am still here after all these years. My favourite thing about work is the people—our people are always from such a diverse range of cultures and it is what I enjoy on a day-to-day basis”. Mark Gilmore said “The key to our achievements is our talented people. I look forward to many more years of celebrating Rio Tinto Yarwun’s success in Gladstone”.