Apr 15, 2020

Rio Tinto lab expertise a handy health weapon

Rio Tinto lab expertise a handy health weapon Bell Bay HSE and HR crew leader Devin Benheim works on teh sanitiser.

Rio Tinto Aluminium is developing hand sanitiser at on-site laboratories in Australia and New Zealand to help tackle the spread of COVID-19.

The company says chemists and researchers at Yarwun Alumina Refinery at Gladstone, Bell Bay Aluminium in Tasmania, and New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) have developed hand sanitiser formulas to World Health Organization specifications for on-site use.

At Bell Bay, a successful 5-litre test batch was made and ethanol has now been sourced to make an extra 75 litres of hand sanitiser.

At NZAS, 103 litres of hand sanitiser has been produced and is already widely in use across the site, while at Yarwun a 5-litre test batch has been successfully developed.

“Our priority is the wellbeing of our people and the communities where we operate,” Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations managing director Kellie Parker said.

“Using the knowledge of our local teams to develop hand sanitiser in our laboratories can help protect Rio Tinto workers and reduce the spread of COVID-19, while at the same time easing the strain on supply for the local community.”