Mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd./Plc. said on Thursday the outlook for the global aluminum sector was very strong.

The demand outlook for the next 10 years is quite positive with expected world demand growth to 2011 of over six percent and demand growth in China alone of over 15 percent per year, Chief Executive Tom Albanese told reporters on a conference call.

Rio said earlier it has agreed to pay $38.1 billion, or $101 per common share, for Canadian aluminum company Alcan Ltd. (AL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research).