Australian Aluminium Council appoints Rio head as chief

Rio Tinto bauxite and alumina president Phillip Strachan has been appointed as the new head of the Australian Aluminium Council.

Alcoa of Australia's managing director Alan Cransberg has been appointed as the Council's new vice president.

Speaking on his new appointment, Strachan said "I look forward to supporting the important role the Council has to play in representing the industry as it faces what are truly the toughest of times, with a high Australian dollar and low global prices".

Alumina has been hit particularly hard compared to other commodities over the past two years, with prices falling and major mining companies looking to exit the metal.

Rio Tinto has looked to sell of its poorly performing Alcan assets for more than a year now, while BHP spun out its alumina assets in its recent demerger.

However despite current market conditions Strachan reiterated that "it’s important we don’t lose sight of the bright future the sector has globally. Demand for aluminium is growing strongly and Australia is blessed with plentiful bauxite resources".

"We will focus on continuing to play a constructive role in the debate on issues that affect the ability of the industry here in Australia to be competitive in the global market.

"With the removal of unnecessary regulation, inefficient polices and cost burdens, our industry can continue to provide attractive and long-term employment for thousands of people in regional Australia."

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