The company’s interests in six Australian and New Zealand assets will be transferred to a new business unit, to be called Pacific Aluminium, and be managed and reported separately from the Rio Tinto Alcan product group prior to divestment.

A second group of seven non-core assets located in the UK, France, Germany and the US will continue to be managed by Rio Tinto Alcan while it further investigates divestment options.

Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said the assets identified for divestment are sound businesses that are well-managed with productive workforces.

"But they are no longer aligned with our strategy and we believe they have a bright future under new ownership," Albanese said.