Business Briefing Luncheon gives update on Rio Tinto Minerals – US Borax

Business Briefing Luncheon gives update on Rio Tinto Minerals – US Borax


Rio Tinto Minerals 2                      

     Rio Tinto plans to counter global dip in industry raw product

Attendees of the Tuesday, Oct. 27 AV Board of Trade Business Briefing luncheon will hear Rio Tinto Minerals/US Borax General Manager Isabelle Brassard discuss the company’s strategy in the face of an expected global decline in demand for raw materials used in manufacturing.

The hard correction of China’s financial markets this summer rippled through the global economy, bringing with it uncertainty of what the impact will be to business in Kern County. Rio Tinto Minerals/US Borax owns and operates the massive borates mine and processing plant at Boron. The operation is a major Antelope Valley region employer.

Although demand of raw materials has slowed, Rio Tinto Minerals estimates that three strategic market pillars – urbanization, energy and global food supply – will continue to drive demand for borates and other industries.

The Business Briefing luncheon will begin at 11:30 p.m. in the Hellenic Center in Lancaster, with the program beginning at noon and ending at 1 p.m.

Brassard, General Manager of Rio Tinto Minerals’ California Operations, including Boron, Wilmington and Owens Lake, will provide an update on local business and what the global mining company is seeing in European and Asian markets.

Isabelle Brassard (2)About the Speaker

No stranger to the mining industry, Isabelle expressed an interest and willingness to work hard and learn at a very young age. Born and raised in the small town of Saguenay in Quebec, Canada, Isabelle was surrounded by a loving family that taught her the importance of discipline, tenacity, and “that failure is not an option.”

Isabelle’s grandfather, father and two brothers all worked in the utility industry at Hydro-Quebec, generating her interest to earn an electrical engineering degree from the University of Quebec.

After earning her degree, Isabelle worked as a consultant with Le Groupe Genitique, a firm that provides technical operational support to hydro power facilities. In 1998, Isabelle joined Rio Tinto Alcan, first serving as a maintenance engineer at the Grande-Baie Smelter before being named manager of Business Improvement Planning, Primary Metal North America.  She then moved to Arvida Works, an aluminum smelter, where she held progressively more responsible posts and served in a variety of management roles.

After spending the first 37 years of her life in Quebec, Isabelle faced one of her most challenging roles when she relocated to the Middle East to serve as general manager at Sohar Aluminum, a Rio Tinto joint venture in Oman. As a woman in a leadership position, Isabelle succeeded in dealing with difficult language barriers and cultural issues, in addition to regional violence and civil unrest.

In 2012 Isabelle was named director of operations and maintenance at Rio Tinto Minerals in Boron. She’s certified as a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma business improvement process.

Isabelle enjoys the local people and lifestyle, and has nothing but great things to say about California. She lives in Palmdale with her husband Claude. When she’s not busy at work, Isabelle’s favorite pastimes include reading, exercising and traveling.



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