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Rio Tinto talking to Apple to move forward carbon-free aluminum venture

Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the miner is in discussion to move into the next phase of an agreement with Apple Inc., as the miner plans to transition its aluminum business to tap a low-carbon economy, Reuters reported March 8.

In 2018, Apple facilitated the Elysis joint venture between Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp. for large-scale development and commercialization by 2024 of a process that emits oxygen and replaces all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional aluminum smelting process.

Jacques said the miner will retrofit its existing smelters with the environmentally-friendly process, should the new process prove to be commercially sustainable.

During the opening of the A$2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine in Queensland, Australia, the chief executive said customers will have full traceability on their aluminum to ensure it is carbon-friendly. Further, Rio Tinto has taken steps to have its Amrun operation certified by a scheme to signify the ethical sourcing of its products.

In February, Rio Tinto said in its report "Our approach to climate change" that its emissions intensity footprint has dropped almost 30% since 2008, which it expects has placed the company on track to beat its targets.