Owned and operated by Pacific Aluminium, the Bell Bay aluminium smelter is located on the mouth of the Tamar River, approximately five kilometres from George Town and 45 kilometres from the City of Launceston.
The Bell Bay aluminium smelter was the first built in the southern hemisphere, commencing operation in 1955 as a joint venture between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments. In its first year of operation, the smelter produced just 1200 tonnes of aluminium. In 1960 the business was acquired by Comalco Industries Pty Limited (later to be named Rio Tinto Alcan) and has developed over more than five decades to become one of Tasmania’s icon industries.
The Bell Bay aluminium smelter has a major influence on the economic wellbeing of Northern Tasmania. It creates wealth for Tasmanians through the creation of employment, export earnings, payment of government taxes and charges and direct investment through the purchase of goods and services and community programmes. The operation continues to play a key role in the development of Bell Bay as a major industrial centre, providing a strong economic and industrial base for many industries and specialist contractors.