Aerials of Boyne Smelter Limited (BSL) from early 2013. Photo Contributed
Aerials of Boyne Smelter Limited (BSL) from early 2013. Photo Contributed Contributed

Rumours British billionaire industrialist toured Boyne Smelter

BRITISH billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is believed to have toured Boyne Smelter Limited, as he eyes off Rio Tinto's Pacific Aluminium assets.

The Australian has reported Mr Gupta has had a two-day tour of the smelter and the Gladstone Power Station, which Rio Tinto has tried to sell its major stake in since 2013.

He purchased the Whyalla steelworks in South Australia earlier this year and a majority stake in the Adelaide-based energy company Zen Energy. Mr Gupta has told The Australian his near-term local strategy was to expand Whyalla and its port, develop more ports in Australia, purchase aluminium assets and develop a magnetite plant.

Rio Tinto's third quarter report showed aluminium production was three per cent lower than the same period last year. The 14% curtailment at Boyne Smelter Limited in March, blamed on high power prices within the Queensland spot market, was cited as the main reason for the drop in production.

"Strong operational performances were achieved across most sites, reflecting process improvements that have been embedded," the report said.

Meanwhile alumina production was in line with the third quarter of 2016 due to a "strong performance" at Rio Tinto Yarwun.

There has been speculation Glencore and Century Aluminium have shown interest in Rio Tinto's aluminium assets, touted as worth more than $1 billion, and information memorandums were expected this month.