Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – Canadian Club of Montreal Speech – Rio Tinto: A world leader in mining and minerals,creating value and opportunity for Quebec and Canada

Tom Albanese - CEO Rio TintoGood afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to begin by thanking the Canadian Club for the invitation to speak here today. I am aware of the long and proud history of this forum, which Rio Tinto Alcan is pleased to support as an associate corporate member.

My visits to Montreal are frequent enough these days that I am beginning to feel very much at home here. Of course, Montreal is home to the global headquarters of our Rio Tinto Alcan product group, and also serves as the Canadian hub for Rio Tinto’s other extensive interests in this country.

Last month, we brought our Board of Directors into town for a regularly scheduled meeting and we also hosted a visit for a group of analysts and institutional investors from Australia, the UK and elsewhere. Aside from the opportunity to sample your famed Montreal hospitality, the visitors were given a first-hand look at our aluminium facilities in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region. I am pleased to report that they
were suitably impressed with the high calibre of our Quebec operations, both existing and planned, — the people and organisation. They gave the visit some glowing reviews.

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Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – Toronto PDAC Speech – Strong Markets, Big Challenges

Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese at Toronto PDACIntroduction

Thank you for your welcoming introductions. It is a pleasure to be here to address you this afternoon. Over lunch we’ve been reflecting on what a great time it is to be in the mining industry.

When I started in the late 1970s all the way through to the 1990s we saw demand growth rates falling and prices steadily declining in real terms. Many of us can remember 60 cent copper, two dollar nickel and 50 cent aluminum. And this was only a few years back.

As the large attendance at this convention shows, our industry is back in fashion. We are seeing almost unprecedented demand for the metals and minerals we produce.

One of my daughters is studying in New York. She tells me a lot of unlikely people keep asking her about the resources industry. Resource stocks have become cool, even hip, like dot coms were. None of us can remember mining being here before. There’s a whole new ballgame under way, with soaring asset valuations generating a great deal of excitement.

Rio Tinto’s friendly takeover of Alcan last October, along with several other company realignments, are all indicators of how rapidly times are changing as globalisation gathers pace.

Our positive outlook is not unique; certainly BHP Billiton’s conditional bid is a sign of others wanting what we have. While these are the best of times for our industry, the flip side is that it throws up a lot of challenges, which is my theme today.

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Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – PDAC Speech Brief Summary

Rio Tinto CEO, Tom AlbaneseYesterday, Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese gave a keynote lunch speech on the last day of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention in Toronto, Canada. The following is a brief summary of some of his major points.

One of his first comments was on how pleased Rio Tinto was to expand into Canada with the friendly takeover of Alcan. The company now has 14,800 employees in this country, of which 10,300 are with Rio Tinto Alcan.

Albanese is a strong believer in the commodity super-cycle and feels the American economic problems will not impact the mining industry. “Important as the US is to the world economy, it is not as influential as it once was to the global demand for metals and minerals. We are firmly of the view there is an economic de-linkage between China on one hand and the rest of the world, especially the US, on the other,” said Albanese.

Rio Tinto feels that a possible US recession will only impact Chinese GDP growth by about one per cent or less.

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Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese – An Introduction

Tom Albanese succeeded Leigh Clifford’s seven-year tenure as chief executive of Rio Tinto, in May 2007. Albanese was born in 1957 and grew up in New Jersey. He attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks where he received a bachelor’s degree in mineral economics and a master’s degree in mining engineering. He held a number …

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