August 28, 2008

Landmark Labour Agreement Advances Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Modernization Project

MONTREAL, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Rio Tinto Alcan marked the signing of a one-of-a-kind labour agreement with sixteen labour unions for the construction of the Kitimat Modernization Project at a ceremony in Vancouver. This agreement between the Kitimat Modernization Employer Association and the unions facilitates access to the qualified British Columbia building trades workforce, with joint commitments to local and First Nations hiring.

"As these unions work together to provide the necessary skilled labour, with an absolute commitment to safety, quality and environmental excellence, our confidence in successful project execution is stronger than ever," said Jean Simon, President, Primary Metal North America. "The tight construction market has been a concern for the Kitimat Modernization Project, and this agreement directly addresses that key issue as we go forward for final board approval." The Kitimat Modernization Project is expected to go before the RioÃӚ“šÃƒÆ’“šÃƒ“š Tinto Board of Directors later this year.

Brent Hegger, the project's Managing Director, added, "This agreement contains all the fundamentals for sound site operations and excellent relations with our all-important construction labour force. I couldn't be more thrilled about this achievement that brings us one step closer to project realization."

Rio Tinto Alcan recently awarded Bechtel a contract to complete engineering, procurement and construction management of the Kitimat Modernization Project. The Kitimat Modernization Employer Association was formed by Bechtel, contractors participating in the agreement, and a coalition of Building Trades Unions including:

   - Construction and Specialized Workers' Union Local 1611 (Labourers)   - International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and     Reinforcing Ironworkers Union Local 97   - International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied     Workers Union Local 118   - International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders,     Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers Local Lodge 359   - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 993   - International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local 213   - International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craft Workers Union Local 2   - International Union of Operating Engineers Union Local 115   - International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 38   - Millwrights, Machine Erectors and Maintenance Union Local 2736   - Operative Plasters' Cement Masons Union Local 919   - Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge, Dock and Wharf Builders Union Local 2404   - Sheet Metal Workers International Association Union Local 280   - Unite Here! British Columbia, Canada Union Local 40   - United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and     Pipefitting Industry of United States and Canada Union Local 170   - United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America- British     Columbia Regional Council of Carpenters   

The Kitimat Modernisation Project will upgrade the facility using state-of-the-art AP technology and increase its aluminium production capacity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. First metal from the modernized smelter is expected in 2011.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto's present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Takeover Code"), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.


CONTACT: Rio Tinto Alcan, Primary Metal BC: Colleen Nyce, (250)639-8760, [email protected]; Rio Tinto Alcan, Montreal: StefanoBertolli, (514) 848-8151, [email protected];