AluNews

Noranda Aluminium pumps USD 11 million into Jamaica expansion

Foundry-Planet - July 31st, 2012

Noranda Aluminium plans to start USD 11 million expansion of its harbor capacity at Port Rhodes in Discovery Bay this year. The local investment, along with plans to build a USD 45 million rod mill in the US, proved attractive because their value creation is largely independent from LME Aluminium prices.
Mr Layle Kip Smith president & CEO of Noranda said that “The opportunity to further expand harbour capacity in Port Rhodes represents not only a value-creating investment in our existing bauxite operation but also an investment in our long term relationship with the Government of Jamaica.”
The project which follows on USD 6 million investments that raised the pier’s capacity from 4.5 million tonnes to 5.4 million tonnes a year in early 2011 consists principally of harbor dredging and focuses on further reducing costs and providing greater flexibility for shipping activities.
Last month, Ms Pansy Johnson president of Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners said that the project would start somewhere between Q4 of 2012 and the Q2 of 2013.
Then she said that the timing of the start of the project would depend on the availability of the required specialized equipment and the dredging method that will be employed. There are a limited number of companies and limited units that will be able to handle this project.

Bosnian aluminium producer Aluminij Mostar will cut production by 12.5% with immediate effect

Balkans.com - July 31st, 2012

Bosnian aluminium producer Aluminij Mostar will cut production by 12.5% with immediate effect, due to high electricity costs and low aluminium prices, and may cut production further in September, it said in a statement on Thursday July 26, Metal Bulletin reported.
"The decision was made unanimously, due to the extremely difficult situation that Aluminij has been facing, entirely because of too high electricity prices and the lowest metal prices in the history of this smelter, [when] considering the prices of raw materials," Mostar said.
The smelter stressed that it considered the initial 12.5% production capacity reduction to be "the beginning of the extensive process". The decision to shut down one part of the electrolysis cell in the Mostar electrolysis plant was expected, it added.
Metal Bulletin reported earlier that Aluminij Mostar had been on its way to boosting capacity by 20%, as the result of an investment made by Glencore.
Glencore - which has an offtake agreement with Aluminij until 2014 - attempted to take a majority stake in the company in 2010, until the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina cancelled the negotiations.

India's Vedanta reports Q1 aluminium production up 7% on year

Platts - July 31st, 2012

London - Indian miner Vedanta Resources' total aluminium production was up 7% for the first quarter of its 2013 financial year at 185,000 mt, from 173,000 mt in the previous quarter, the company said Tuesday.
"Production at the Jharsuguda-I 500,000 mt smelter was 11% higher at 124,000 mt. The BALCO-II smelter was stable and produced 60,000 mt," the company said.
Vedanta's 1 million mt/year Lanjigarh alumina refinery produced 218,000 mt of alumina in Q1, down 3% from the 224,000 mt it produced in Q4.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for aluminium in Q1 were lower at $49.3 million, down 52% compared to $101.9 million in the previous quarter.
Vedanta said the lower earnings were due to a 24% fall in LME aluminium prices, a $25 million mark-to-market loss on foreign currency borrowings on account of the depreciation of the Indian Rupee and 20% lower power sales from its BALCO 270 MW power plant.
The company said that lower earnings were partially offset by lower costs of production and higher aluminium premiums.

Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) New Bauxite Resource at Williams Project Western Australia

ABN Newswire - July 30th, 2012

Sydney - Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) is pleased to announce an initial Resource for the Ceres deposit, part of its emerging Williams bauxite project area in southwest, Western Australia. The resource is situated on a number of large farms north of Williams, located 150km south of Perth, close to the Perth-Albany highway and approximately 35km from existing rail infrastructure providing a direct link to Albany Port.
The Ceres Resource is contained within the Company's joint venture with HD Mining & Investments Pty Ltd, (HDM) the wholly owned subsidiary of Shandong Bureau No.1 Institute for Prospecting of Geology & Minerals, (Shandong) titled the BRL-HD Mining Joint Venture. HDM is currently working towards obtaining 40% interest in the bauxite rights of several tenements under the joint venture which are wholly owned by BRL.
HDM are fully funding exploration activities and their interest will be triggered if HDM enters into a binding commitment to undertake a feasibility study on the tenements. Should HDM and BRL make a subsequent decision to mine, then HDM will earn an additional 20% interest in bauxite rights on the tenements. BRL maintains 100% interest in all other minerals.
The addition of the new resource provides a 12% increase in the total bauxite resources in which the Company has an interest.
The Ceres deposit extends across 3500Ha of private farmland 20km to the north of Williams and 150km to the southeast of Perth (figure 1 & 2 link below). The total extent of the deposit has not been defined, and additional resource drilling is scheduled to commence late in 2012. The Ceres deposit is situated on a small number of large private landholdings that have been cleared for farming and grazing and are readily accessible by road. The site is located within 35km of existing rail infrastructure that connects to the Albany port, a distance by rail of 270km.
The Ceres deposit geological model is based upon drilling programs commenced in 2010 and completed in late 2011. The deposit comprises a bauxite horizon of up to 8m thickness that is typically covered by 0.5 to 2m of loose overburden. The resource estimate, completed by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Pty Ltd, was based on 3,017 vertical holes drilled for 7,923.5 metres across an area of approximately 3,500Ha on a nominal 80m x 80m drill pattern. The available alumina and reactive silica results quoted are based on low temperature bomb digest analysis (143°C), and the results reflect the high proportion of alumina present as the tri-hydrate mineral gibbsite.
The extent of the bauxite mineralisation has not been fully determined, and additional vacuum drilling is planned with the aim of adding to the resource base. Following this a bulk sampling programme is planned to provide material for bulk density, ore characterisation, beneficiation and metallurgical test work. This test work is aimed at determining the opportunity to improve remove excess detrimental materials, principally quartz and reactive silica, thus upgrading the available alumina component of the ore.
The Ceres deposit adds to the global resource base that BRL and its joint venture partners have defined within the south west of Western Australia. Table 3 below provides a summary of the total bauxite resources and the bauxite rights that are attributable to the company.

Nalco may lose Rs 300 cr due to 5% idle capacity

Business Line - July 29th, 2012

New Delhi - State-owned aluminium maker Nalco is likely to take a Rs 300-crore hit on annual revenue as it is forced to keep five per cent of production capacity idle due to lower metal price and shortage of coal.
“We kept idle 10 per cent of our total 4.6 lakh smelting capacity due to inadequate coal supply since last November.
Subsequently, half of that was restored in May and the rest five per cent is still idle. This is likely to impact Rs 300 crore to our annual revenue,” a company source said.
The primary reason for keeping the five per cent capacity idle is subdued international price of the metal, which is now hovering at around $1,800-1,850 a tonne. Inadequate supply of coal from domestic sources is also responsible for the plant running at lower than the installed capacity.
Nalco would have incurred a loss of Rs 40 crore in the current fiscal, if it had to operate the five per cent idle capacity on imported coal, the source said.
Condensed margins have forced a lot of global aluminium capacity to be put on hold as the price of the metal is on the wane, while the raw material costs are on the rise.
The source, however, said Nalco could have managed to run in its full capacity provided it had received the entire coal requirement domestically. Nalco requires around 18,000 tonnes coal per day to run its plant on 100 per cent capacity.

Jamaica Exploring Aluminum Production Locally

Jamaica Information Service - July 27th, 2012

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government is exploring the possibility of producing aluminium locally.
Speaking at Wednesday's (July 25) Jamaica House media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Paulwell said details of the undertaking are expected to be announced by the end of September.
Those details, he pointed out, are also expected to include energy solutions for the bauxite/alumina sector that will enable the country to ship less bauxite and alumina and more of the valued-added derivative, aluminium.
"We are now very pleased that there are companies that are prepared to discuss with Jamaica, the matter of equity in aluminium production… and we are going to follow that through. We are looking at the full range of mining opportunities, but (particularly) within the bauxite alumina industry, to see how we can move to that ultimate level (of producing aluminium).
We have been talking, for years, about the prospect of Jamaica combining with energy rich countries to get to producing aluminium. That, I believe is a dream that is within our grasp, especially as we move to solving the energy problem,” he said.
Mr. Paulwell described the proposed undertaking as a “new approach”, but is consistent with the focus on “increasing the value (of) the goods and services that we produce”.
"We (have long) exported bauxite or alumina. (But) we have never, really, pursued having a vested interest in the next stage of the production, which is to take it from alumina to aluminium.
Also, we believe that because we are moving to solve the energy problem, we can entice businesses in this area, to look, now, at Jamaica as a place where you can do the full range of processing. We are onto a project that I believe will secure for us, significant lower prices for energy,” the Minister stated.

UC RUSAL team to visit Jamaica next month

Stabroek News - July 27th, 2012

A high-end technical team is to be flown into Jamaica from Russia next month to hammer out wrinkles at the United Company (UC) RUSAL-operated Ewarton Alumina Works in St Catherine, according to Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell.
“I would like to inform this House that a high-level delegation from Russia is expected to visit Jamaica in August to discuss UC RUSAL’s operation in Jamaica,” Paulwell, who also has responsibility for the energy and ICT portfolios informed the House of Representatives during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate on Tuesday.
Paulwell, who had made what turned out to be contradictory public remarks recently regarding the future of the refinery at Ewarton Works, served notice that he would enter the talks with an open mind and a firm hand.
Paulwell, earlier this month, announced that UC RUSAL would have been closing down operations at Ewarton, but in a quick response, the management of the company said this was not so.
The minister on Tuesday maintained that the refinery at Ewarton was languishing in a state of uncertainty. “As I have indicated previously to this House, the fate of the Ewarton refinery remains uncertain,” he said.
At the same time, Paulwell said two of the four refineries in the island remain closed. These are Windalco’s Kirkvine plant and Alpart, both of which cumulatively account for approximately 50 per cent of total output.
He noted that despite an increase of 26.4 per cent in the total value of the bauxite and alumina exported in 2011, compared with 2010, only 42 per cent of this value was retained. “There was a 17 per cent fall-off in revenue inflows to Government due to continuing bauxite levy concessions granted to the companies as well as to much higher costs of production related to oil and caustic soda,” he disclosed.

US Aluminum producer plans rod mill and port expansion projects

Hoist - July 26th, 2012

Plans to build a USD 45M rod mill in the US and a USD 11M expansion of Port Rhodes in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, are progressing claimed Noranda Aluminum this week.
Noranda Aluminum expects spending on the port capacity expansion project to begin later this year. The scope of works includes harbor dredging and port infrastructure improvements.
Spending on the rod mill project is expected to begin in 2013, with funds allocated for infrastructure development and construction of a new mill to produce redraw rod, which is often used to produce electrical wire, cable and deoxidizing steel.
Noranda Aluminum president and CEO Layle Smith said: "The new rod mill and the port expansion project are attractive to us because they provide avenues for revenue growth and increased productivity, and because their value-creation is largely independent from LME aluminum prices."
"Redraw rod has been one of our strongest primary aluminum products in recent periods, and we expect continued growth in this product.
The opportunity to further expand harbor capacity in Port Rhodes represents not only a value-creating investment in our existing bauxite operation, but also an investment in our long-term relationship with the government of Jamaica."

Noranda pumps US$11m into Jamaica expansion

Stabroek News - July 26th, 2012

Noranda aluminium plans to start a US$11 million (J$970 million) expansion of its harbour capacity at Port Rhodes in Discovery Bay this year. The local investment, along with plans to build a US$45-million rod mill in the US, proved attractive “because their value-creation is largely independent from LME aluminium prices”, according to the Layle “Kip” Smith.
“The opportunity to further expand harbour capacity in Port Rhodes represents not only a value-creating investment in our existing bauxite operation, but also an investment in our long-term relationship with the Government of Jamaica,” said Noranda’s president and CEO.
The project, which follows on a US$6-million investment that raised the pier’s capacity from 4.5 million tonnes to 5.4 million tonnes a year in early 2011, consists principally of harbour dredging and focuses on further reducing costs and providing greater flexibility for shipping activities.
Last month, Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners’ President Pansy Johnson told the Jamaica Observer that the project would start somewhere between fourth quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013.

Rio Tinto Alcan and Kitimat aluminium workers' union reach a tentative agreement

Canada Newswire - July 24th, 2012

MONTREAL - Rio Tinto Alcan and the union representing workers at the Kitimat aluminium smelter and powerhouse operations in Kemano in northwest British Columbia have reached a tentative labour agreement.
"We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the union representatives at our Kitimat aluminium smelter and powerhouse operations in Kemano - one that is in the best interests of our workforce and reflects Rio Tinto Alcan's long-term strategy and commitment to British Columbia," said Etienne Jacques, chief operating officer, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal, North America.
"This agreement will enable us to complete an efficient transition from the actual smelter to the new one and ensure our long term competitiveness. This is an important achievement, as we gear up for the transformational Kitimat modernisation project".
The Kitimat smelter produced 168,000 tonnes in 2011.
The smelter modernisation project which will increase capacity to 420,000 tonnes per year is still ongoing.

Australian Bauxite Ltd : Tasmanian Bauxite Project Update

4 - Traders - July 24th, 2012

Tasmanian Bauxite Project Taking Shape in Midlands Near Ports Scoping Study of Economic Potential To Commence in September Supportive Customer Sort for Offtake
• 334 holes & 1,521 samples have defined best bauxite zones in central Northern Tasmania
• Newly granted tenements secure the areas where bauxite extraction may be acceptable
• Preliminary economic assessments suggest bauxite locations are potentially viable
• Community consultation has been generally positive about potential development
• Once best resources are defined, a scoping study will commence in September and report on economic potential before year-end
• Discussions with potential offtake customers will commence early to ensure that the Tasmanian investment situation is understood
Emerging bauxite exploration and development company, Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx, ASX Code ABZ) has received laboratory and exploration results from drilling and surface exploration at its newly consolidated 11 Tasmanian exploration tenements totalling 1,897 square kilometres in central Northern Tasmania.
334 drill holes and 1,521 surface samples (some of substantial size) have been completed in Tasmania over the past 18 months and all results have been carefully assessed so as to define areas that may be suitable for a bauxite extraction and export project on the basis of:
1. Sufficient tonnages of thick, good quality low-silica, gibbsite-rich bauxite
2. Nearness to high-capacity transport routes linked to nearby mineral export ports
3. Most importantly, as free as possible of socio-environmental constraints that might prevent investment in a new business in central Northern Tasmania
As a result of this assessment, 2 outlying tenements are to be relinquished and 2 new tenements secured in areas of quarrying and cleared lands that contain bauxite. 1 new tenement has been offered for grant and 2 applications are pending. Community consultation and expert advice has led to a greater level of confidence that bauxite extraction could be viable in several of these areas once sufficient resources are identified and required approvals obtained.
Australian Bauxite CEO Ian Levy said; "Investing in Tasmania is only done after careful consideration of the risk-rewards situation based on expert advice. It requires an understanding of Tasmania's special circumstances.
"We believe that with goodwill and common sense, ABx can develop a viable project in Tasmania."
Two Cross-Sections Through a Small Part of The Meadowbank Bauxite Deposit Whilst only a small part of one deposit, these sections suggest reasonable continuity of the main bauxite zones, most of which are DSO Bauxite.
All bauxite types from Tasmania appear to benefit from washing and screening, especially the clay- bauxite mix material but much of the deposits can be shipped without processing.

Alba hires BNP Paribas for $2.5bn aluminium smelter expansion plan

Mineweb - July 24th, 2012

ABU DHABI - Aluminium Bahrain BSC, which owns the world's fourth-largest aluminium smelter, said on Monday it hired BNP Paribas to advise on financing options for a proposed $2.5 billion expansion plan to add a sixth production line.
Alba has said the new line - which will add 400,000 tonnes annual capacity to its current production of 881,000 tonnes a year - could be completed by early 2015.
A project feasibility study is expected to start at the end of the year, the Bahraini firm said in a statement, adding it choose BNP for its "strong presence in Bahrain along with extensive experience with the aluminium sector."
Alba's last major expansion took place in 2005 when it added a fifth potline at a cost of $1.7 billion.

GMDC to invest in equity of JV project with Nalco

Zee News - July 23th, 2012

Ahmedabad - Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) Monday said it has received the state government nod in investing in equity of the proposed alumina plant and aluminium smelter project in collaboration with Nalco.
"Gujarat government has given its consent to GMDC for investing in equity of the joint venture project proposed with Nalco. The land has still not been finalised for the project and search is on for an appropriate site," a top GMDC official told PTI.
"Once the land is finalised for the project, it shall be taken for approval of the state cabinet," he said.
National Aluminium Company Limited has qualified as the sole bidder for the over Rs 10,000 crore alumina and smelter plant project proposed in Kutch district and has deposited upfront fees of Rs 150 crore for the project.
The bids for the project were technically examined by the Nagpur-based Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre, a GMDC official said.
The project is for one million tonne alumina and 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter. GMDC will supply bauxite for the project from its group of mines in Kutch.
The estimated Rs 10,000-15,000 crore alumina and smelter project is expected to be set up in Gujarat on the lines of such units being installed by the UK-based Vedanta group in Odhisa, but with more sophisticated technology, the official said.
Gujarat government had signed an MoU with Aashapura Group in 2005 to set up the plant and smelter unit in Kutch but later the government did not extend the MoU, following which GMDC in 2010 invited EOIs for the project.

June's daily aluminium output drops to 67,700 T

Business Recorder - July 20th, 2012

LONDON - Daily average primary aluminium output in June dropped to 67,700 tonnes compared with 67,900 in May and 70,000 in June 2011, figures from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Friday.
Total production in June was 2.030 million tonnes, compared with a revised 2.106 million tonnes in May and 2.099 million tonnes in June 2011.
Including China, June's average output was 123.8 million tonnes, up from a revised figure of 122.1 million tonnes in May.
In China, total primary aluminium production in June rose to 1.684 million tonnes from 1.678 in the previous month.

Chinalco to fund aluminum base with Sapa Group

Chinadaily.com.cn - July 20th, 2012

The Aluminum Corporation of China, commonly known as Chinalco, signed an agreement with a Swedish company in Beijing last year to fund a project in the Xipeng Aluminum Industrial Zone in the Jiulongpo district of Chongqing municipality.
Sapa Group, a Swedish company that makes extruded aluminum profiles, will invest 630 million yuan in the design, production and sales of aluminum alloy extruded structure products and car body module products for the rail and automobile markets.
Sapa Group has one of the world's most-advanced low-temperature, energy-saving and high-strength welding technologies.
After the project officially goes into operation in 2013, the annual output of car body modules and aluminum products for rail transport is estimated to reach a total of 20,000 tons. The aluminum industrial zone's edge in terms of raw materials, equipment and market have attracted more aluminum producers in addition to Sapa group.
In 2006, the Chongqing Municipal Government and Chinalco outlined a cooperation agreement and vowed to make combined efforts to develop Chongqing into the "capital of China's aluminum-processing industry" in the next eight to 10 years.
According to the agreement, the center, based on the Xipeng Aluminum Industrial Zone, will feature first-class, the largest production scale, an improved industrial chain, highly centralized industry and sound services.
The aluminum industrial zone is expected to lead the municipality's aluminum processing industry to a more advanced level.
It was named by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2008 as the special industry base of light alloy under the national Torch Plan Program. The ministry in 2010 again recognized it as the national high-tech aluminum-processing industrial base.
With the rapid development of the zone, a large number of famous enterprises have chosen to begin operations there. As of the end of last year, the zone has accommodated more than 260 companies with a combined industrial output value in excess of 35 billion yuan. The zone now has a complete industrial chain of "electrolytic aluminum - aluminum rough machining - aluminum deep processing." The zone expects to achieve an annual output value of 100 billion yuan by the end of 2015.

Sohar Aluminum mulls hiking output three-fold

Zawya - July 18th, 2012

Muscat: Sohar Aluminium is keen to triple its production capacity from its current 375,000 metric tonnes of aluminium per annum to one million metric tonnes, said Henk Pauw, chief executive of Sohar Aluminium .
Speaking at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sohar Aluminum and the Public Authority for Crafts Industries (PACI) to impart training for Omanis, Henk stated that this would be possible if expansions plans put forth by the company get a nod from the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
With global demand for primary aluminium set to reach 75 million tonnes by 2020, the chief executive sees huge potential for the aluminum industry despite slack season at the moment.
The MoU signed at the PACI head office yesterday focuses on training of 15 Omani youths. The aluminum craft training project will begin from November 1, and will conclude on October 31, 2014. The entire cost of the training would be borne by Sohar Aluminium .

Anglesey Aluminium in redundancy talks with Unite union

BBC - July 17th, 2012

Union officials say they are in talks with management over redundancies at the Anglesey Aluminium plant.
The smelting operation closed at the works at Holyhead in 2009 with the loss of nearly 400 jobs.
About 110 staff have continued to work at the site as part of a decommissioning process and its remelt business.
The company said talks with staff and unions had began as decommissioning was to be completed by September.
A spokeswoman said the job cuts of about up to 40 staff would be from across the business as the company looked to make its remelt business stand alone.
John Hamilton from Unite said the situation was expected as decommissioning cam to an end at the plant.
He said that more talks were due to be held on Friday with the company, adding that the numbers of jobs affected have not yet been confirmed.
A number of plans have been put forward regarding the future of part of the site.
Prospective buyers last year tabled plans for a biomass power station and fish farm which they say could create up to 400 jobs.
Company owners, the Welsh government and Anglesey council have all been involved in talks about redeveloping the land for other uses.

Mukah smelter 'not closing'

New Straits Times - July 17th, 2012

ASSURANCE: Company says aluminium plant won't be shut despite new plant being built in Bintulu
PRESS Metal's construction of a second and larger aluminium smelting plant at the Samalaju industrial park in Bintulu would not affect the operation of its first plant here.
"We won't shut down, that's for sure," its plant manager here Dr Siew Eng Fui said during a Kembara 1Malaysia media tour of the plant, 38km from here, last week.
He admitted the location of the plant here was less than ideal, but said there should be no fears that production would be scaled back, or the plant shutting down, or operations being moved to Bintulu.
"Ideally, it should be located next to its power supply and a port."
The smelter here has neither of them. There is no port and the 120,000 tonnes of ingots and billets the smelter produces annually are taken by trucks to a jetty 25km away in Balingian for the start of their journey to the peninsula, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey.
At Balingian, they are loaded on barges for the 39 nautical mile journey to Bintulu port. From there, they are sent by ships to their destinations. The transshipments between Balingian and Bintulu port are affected by rough seas in the monsoon season.
Similarly, alumina aloxide, the main raw material in the production of aluminium that are imported from Australia, would have to be unloaded at the Bintulu port and transported by trucks to the plant here.
Electricity for this power-guzzling plant is transmitted from the Bakun hydro-electric dam, with the plant consuming 200MW daily of the state's power generation of 1,000MW.
In contrast, Press Metal's Bintulu smelter is not only nearer to Bakun, but is a stone's throw away from the port that is being built there. The Regional Corridors Development Authority, that manages and promotes the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, where both the plants are located, in its briefing to the touring journalists, said a port is a must for the smelter.
The Bintulu smelter would have 300 reduction pots, housed in a 1.2km-long plant, compared with the 208 pots here. The plant here is only 750m long. The plant here is Press Metal's first aluminium smelting facility in the country.
It commenced production in August 2009

4,000 jobs on offer for Hydro workers

1233 ABC Newcastle - July 17th, 2012

Hydro Aluminium is ramping-up efforts to find jobs for employees at its Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter with 69 companies holding an employment expo on the site tomorrow.
The smelter will close in the coming months putting about 350 workers out of a job.
Hydro's Human Resources spokesman Trevor Hall says after its recent redundancy expo at the site, the company wanted to help its employees to find other jobs that suit their skills.
"We've got 69 exhibitors and they will have something like 4,000 genuine vacancies on offer," he said.

Nalco in talks to operate a 2.25 lakh-tonne smelter unit in Indonesia

The Economic Times - July 17th, 2012

KOLKATA: National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has joined the fray along with a clutch of Japanese firms to operate a 2.25 lakh-tonne smelter unit in Indonesia, said sources close to the development.
Talks are on between Nalco and the Indonesian government on a range of options, including picking up a stake or operating Indonesia's Ashan Aluminium (Inalum).
Nalco has already made a detailed presentation to a cabinet committee in Indonesia highlighting plans for its growth. When contacted, a senior Nalco official said the proposal is in its early stages.
"We have submitted a proposal to the Indonesian government to get associated with Inalum. However, we are yet to hear from them. It depends entirely on the Indonesian government whether they will offer Nalco part or full equity in Inalum."
If it works out, the deal to acquire the company could be worth close to Rs 8,000 crore.

Russian aluminium giant Rusal joins China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association

Platts - July 16th, 2012

Russian aluminium giant Rusal has become a member of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA), the Chinese non-profit organization which represents the interests of nonferrous industry participants, Rusal said in a statement Monday.
The membership of the CNIA represents another milestone in the company's strategy to secure its long-term presence in the Chinese market, Rusal said.
Membership of the CNIA will allow Rusal to co-operate with the organization in terms of the long-term sustainable development of the aluminium industry, promotion of the use of aluminium, protection of the environment and other issues of mutual interest, it added.
Rusal currently produces 3.5 million mt/year of aluminium at its smelters in Siberia, and this is forecast to grow to more than 4.8 million mt/year with the commissioning of the Boguchansky and Taishet smelters.
The company said these were ideally located to support China's growing aluminium consumption which is expected to reach 30 million mt by 2016 from 19 million mt in 2011.
"Growing urbanization and industrial development will continue to drive China's dominant role in the global aluminium consumption, and Rusal, as the world's largest producer of the light metal, is ready to meet this demand," said Rusal Deputy CEO Oleg Mukhamedshin.
In 2011, Rusal became the second foreign company to obtain China's Shanghai Futures Exchange Aluminium Contract registration for its particular brands produced at the Irkutsk and Khakas aluminium smelters.
In April this year, the company announced the start of operations of North United Aluminium (NUA, the former Shenzhen North Investments), the Shenzhen-based joint venture of Rusal and Norinco, specializing in aluminium, alloys and other non-ferrous metals trading on the Chinese market.

Aluminium factory in Chch officially opens

Voxy - July 15th, 2012

Around 200 invited guests marked the official opening of a new multi-million dollar Fletcher Aluminium factory on Friday afternoon in Christchurch.
Fletcher Aluminium franchisees - Nebulite, Rylock, Vistalite and Fisher, have been working closely with Fletcher Aluminium for the last 18 months to establish a facility which will support the rebuild in Christchurch and the anticipated ongoing demand, South Island wide.
Christchurch franchisee spokesman, Nebulite Garden City's Tom Foster, says the new factory supports the franchisees to more effectively service their clients' needs.
"This is a continuation of Fletchers investment in the franchisees, in the form of regional support, which enables our clients to access additional resource and technology. Fletcher Aluminium is looking after us, so we can look after our clients," he says.
With the mother of all BBQ's also known as the Charcoal Relief Unit or CRU being manned by Christchurch chef Jonny Schwass, guests enjoyed refreshments, entertainment and a tour of the new door and window factory in Wigram.

Better first quarter bauxite production in 2012

Stabroek News - July 13th, 2012

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has reported what it says was “a significant improvement of 121.8 per cent in overall bauxite production during the first quarter of this year” compared with the corresponding period last year.
According to the commission’s 2012 Mining Supplement, bauxite production during the January – March 2012 period reached 592,863 tonnes valued at $8.2 billion. The commission says that figure represents a 121.8 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2011, adding that dried products, cement etc.

Bauxite surprise — Paulwell says he'll summon UC Rusal rep

Jamaica Observer - July 13th, 2012

A wire service report yesterday that Russian aluminium giant UC Rusal was denying Phillip Paulwell's announcement that the company plans to shut down its last operational bauxite plant in Jamaica surprised the energy minister who said he intended to summon the firm's country representative to meet with him today.
"I am happy that there has been a change of heart subsequent to my representation to the country representatives from UC Rusal, and I hope that it wasn't a ploy," Paulwell told the Jamaica Observer last night.
"They had made certain demands re the bauxite levy and getting oil, and I hope it wasn't a way of strong-arming the Government," he added, but declined to give specifics.
"If that was the case, then I regard that as a despicable act," he declared.
On Tuesday, Paulwell had announced in the Parliament that UC Rusal will close its Ewarton Alumina Refinery in October for one year, a move that would put 600 people out of work.
Paulwell had admitted that despite the Government's decision to accept UC Rusal's request for a waiver from the bauxite levy with respect to Ewarton — for one year, commencing June 1, in return for the implementation of short-term projects — the agreement was never executed. "Further, despite the efforts of the Government to mitigate the adverse situation, the indications are that the continued operation of the Ewarton plant is in doubt," he told the House.
"I was verbally informed on July 6, 2012 that UC Rusal has taken the decision to close the Ewarton plant later this year for one year, even though the full bauxite levy relief was granted," he explained.
But yesterday, the Associated Press (AP) reported that a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail that "the information about Ewarton's closing in October this year does not correspond to the reality". The AP reported that the company acknowledged that it is considering curtailing operations at some facilities, but said a decision would not be made until September.
Last night, Paulwell explained that although the Government had agreed to giving the company the bauxite levy, its demands for oil concessions were rebuffed.
"They asked for an urgent meeting last week. We had got wind of rumours of their pulling out of the country, so I made sure to have my junior minister in the meeting, the permanent secretary, the head of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, someone from the Attorney General's Office, [and] the chairman of the PCJ. There were about 10 Government officers," the energy minister told the Observer.
"The country representative indicated in very serious tones that the plant would be closed in October," Paulwell insisted. "In that meeting, I indicated my opinions about that closure and made comments about their licence in relation to closed sections of Alpart's Kirkvine plant," Paulwell said, without revealing the exact nature of his comments.
"My comments were received in a serious way," he added. He also said he was disturbed that 600 people have been put through the wringer, with the threat of closure and loss of their jobs hung over their heads.
In 2009, the Russian company — the world's largest aluminium producer — shut down two other Jamaican bauxite plants after the global economic crisis halted production.

UC Rusal to close Ewarton plant by October

Jamaica Observer - July 11th, 2012

MINISTER of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell confirmed in Parliament yesterday that Russian firm UC Rusal will be closing its Ewarton (Windalco) plant by October, threatening the jobs of some 600 employees.
In a statement to the House of Representatives, Paulwell admitted that despite the Government's decision to accept UC Rusal's request for a waiver from the bauxite levy with respect to Ewarton — for one year, commencing June 1, in return for the implementation of short-term projects — the agreement was never executed.
"Further, despite the efforts of the Government to mitigate the adverse situation, the indications are that the continued operation of the Ewarton plant is in doubt," he told the House.
"I was verbally informed on July 6, 2012 that UC Rusal has taken the decision to close the Ewarton plant later this year for one year, even though the full bauxite levy relief was granted," he explained.
Paulwell said that this was a great disappointment to the country, particularly the surrounding communities of St Catherine. He added that this would mean that all three Rusal Alumina refineries in Jamaica would be non-operational, with Kirkvine and Alpart having been closed since 2009. He blamed the significant downturn in the bauxite/alumina sector on challenges being experienced in the global economy.
Responding to questions from Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, the minister said that about 600 persons are employed at Ewarton, and that the deadline for the closure is October.
UC Rusal is the world's largest producer of aluminium and alumina. It was established in March 2007 with the merging of the assets of three companies: RUSAL, previously the third-largest global aluminium company; SUAL, one of the world's top 10 players in the aluminium business; and the alumina assets of Glencore (Switzerland).

Alcoa confident about aluminium demand

Live Mint - July 11th, 2012

Alcoa Inc’s EVP and CFO Chuck McLane believes that aluminium prices should be trending up, if fundamentals are any indication. But his company reported average aluminiumrealisations, in the June quarter, to be down by 4% sequentially and by 17.7% year-on-year. That has affected its performance, though factors such as currency movements, rising regional premiums (on aluminium shipments to certain markets), and productivity improvements acted as mitigating factors.
A large producer of aluminium, the company has multiple revenue streams including basic products such as alumina and aluminium, and value-added products under its global rolled products division and its engineered products division. Early with its results, Alcoa sets the tone for result expectations from industrial stocks, especially non-ferrous metal producers.
While lower realisations affected its aluminium business, in alumina lower output, lower realisations, and higher costs combined to hit profits. In its global rolled products division, EBIDTA/tonne is down by 9.3% sequentially, but volumes were up by 7%. The engineered products and solutions’ division has done well, maintaining margins, even as the business has grown.
Alcoa has been curtailing production in response to the slowdown and lower prices. It is trying to increase share of value-added products, cutting costs and driving up productivity, and lowering its working capital requirement. The economic slowdown in Europe and evidence of slower growth even in emerging markets could be a risk in the near term, not just for it but other aluminium producers too.
But Alcoa is confident about demand for aluminium, especially in the context of production cuts. Its analysis of the user industries sees growth in most sectors, in most regions, except in the heavy truck and trailer segment. It maintains global aluminium consumption will grow by 7% in 2012; projects the alumina market to be evenly balanced; and what’s more expects a global deficit (demand less supply) of 515,000 tonnes in aluminium.

Yarwun 2 starts production

The Observer - July 10th, 2012

IN ANY other town the word "bauxite" doesn't mean much.
In Gladstone, pretty much everyone knows that bauxite is the red stuff that feeds the region's alumina refineries.
Another term that has become synonymous with the Gladstone Region is Yarwun 2, the $2.4 billion expansion of Rio Tinto Alcan's Yarwun Alumina refinery.
After five years of hard graft, Yarwun 2 passed its most historic landmark at the weekend.
The first bauxite was fed into the new facility and, for the first time, Yarwun 2 began producing alumina.
In effect, Yarwun 2 has stopped existing - it is now part of the overall refinery.
The facility's general manager of operations Mike Dunstan said the moment was a big one, especially considering it was a couple of years overdue. The financial crisis in 2008 threw a major spanner in the works, causing a severe slowdown.
Mr Dunstan is undeniably proud of the renovated facility. Its energy efficiency and labour productivity place it in the top 10% in the world.
While the first bauxite has entered the new facility and alumina is being produced, Mr Dunstan said it would be about 12 months before the plant was ramped up to full capacity.
He said the refinery would begin with small amounts, testing the process and gradually building up to full capacity.
Eventually the plant will produce 3.4 million tonnes each year, compared with the current capacity of 1.4 million.
One of the most revolutionary aspects of the expansion is the Jacketed Pipe Unit, which mixes caustic material with the bauxite in pipes rather than in a vessel. The method is more efficient.
"We're going to be here in 40 years," he said.
"Yarwun (refinery) is state-of-the-art. We've got the advantage of being able to process bauxite from Weipa very efficiently."

GCC to control over 15% of global aluminum output

Emirates 24/7 - July 10th, 2012

Gulf oil producers controlled nearly 10 per cent of the world’s aluminum production at the end of 2011 and new smelter projects will likely boost that share to more than 15 per cent in the next eight years.
Official data showed the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have pumped around $17.3 billion into aluminum projects and nearly 47 per cent of the funds have been invested by the UAE, the second largest Arab economy.
The investments, which have quadrupled since 2000, allowed the six members to produce around 3.6 million tonnes of aluminum a year, nearly 10 per cent of the world’s total output of the metal, the Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) said in a study on GCC industries.
“After the completion of new smelter projects in some GCC members, the total aluminum production in the region will surge to nine million tonnes per year, accounting for 15-17 per cent of the world’s total output,” GOIC said.
It said heavy investments into the sector boosted the number of aluminum projects in the GCC to 44 at the end of 2011 from 33 in 2000.
The report showed the UAE was the largest GCC investor in aluminum through its two giant smelters in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accounting for 47 per cent of the total investments, or around $8.5 billion.
In a recent report, GOIC expected GCC states to invest a further $25 billion into new aluminium projects and expansion of their existing smelters in the next 12 years as part of an industrial drive to reduce reliance on unpredictable oil sales.
The report showed the new investments include around $5.8 billion in Qatar’s smelter, which was inaugurated in 2010 with a production capacity of 585,000 tonnes per year. About $eight billion will also be pumped by Emal in Abu Dhabi to push up output to 1.4 million tones while more expansions are on the cards in Dubai and Bahrain, where the region’s first smelters were set up.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s dominant oil exporter, is also planning to set up a $3.8-billion smelter while Oman has completed its first aluminium plant in Sohar.
GOIC said GCC nations need to push ahead with such projects to face a rapid rise in domestic demand because of massive infrastructure projects.
External demand for their products is also expected to surge as global consumption will likely pick up in the near future following a slowdown due to the 2008 global fiscal crisis, it added.
Aluminum projects in the GCC countries are part of overall industrial plans aimed at diversifying their economies away from unpredictable crude oil exports, which still account for at least two thirds of their national income.

Alufer plans $400 million Guinea bauxite mine

Reuters - July 9th, 2012

CONAKRY - Guinea-focused bauxite miner Alufer Mining plans to invest $400 million to develop its Bel Air bauxite project in the Boffa region of the west African state, documents submitted by the company to the country's mines ministry showed on Monday.
Alufer said in the documents seen by Reuters that it has mining exploration permits in the Boffa, Labe and Kindia regions of Guinea with a combined potential reserve of over 3 billion tonnes of the aluminium ore.
'A pre-feasibility study was completed in Bel Air in late 2011 and the company plans to build a mine with a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year by 2014,' the document said.
'To date, Alufer has invested $22 million in the project. The company intends to invest $400 million to develop the mine,' the document said.
Guinea, the world's top bauxite exporter, is planning to review all mining contracts to ensure mining firms comply with its recently revised mining code. The country, which also has significant iron ore and gold reserves, relies on minerals for more than 70 percent of its exports.
Two officials of Guinea's mines ministry said Alufer's project had been submitted to the government, but it was unclear whether the exploitation phase of the project would begin in 2014 as planned by the company.
'Alufer has presented a pre-feasibility study which we appreciate, but we have found it incomplete. We are waiting for further information before deciding,' Saadou Nimaga, a counsel to the Guinean mines minister told Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Alufer said it was cooperating with Guinea's government and reiterated a June 1 statement in which it said it was on track for first bauxite production in late 2013 or early 2014.
Guernsey-registered Alufer, said in the statement that it had raised $12 million via private placement with new investors after it postponed a planned listing on the London alternative AIM board due to adverse market conditions.
Alufer is chaired by Adonis Pouroulis, the founder of listed Petra Diamonds.

Bluff aluminium smelter to cut production

NZ City - July 9th, 2012

Even the industries we need the most aren't immune to the pinch of tight economic times.
The aluminium smelter in Bluff is cutting production by 15 percent.
Business Correspondent Roger Kerr has told Newstalk ZB's Susan Wood that global aluminium prices are down, and the exchange rate is up, which hurts economic viability.
He says the plant has 800 workers.
"They are New Zealand's largest user of electricity with long term supply contract from Meridian energy from the Manapouri generation plant."
He says they export about $700m worth a year, but profitability is highly volatile depending on the global aluminium prices.

European crisis weighs on Aluminium Bahrain sales

Business Recorder - July 8th, 2012

ABU DHABI - Aluminium Bahrain's output edged up 1.7 percent in the first half of 2012 but sales were almost flat as weak economic growth in Europe dampened demand in the first quarter, Alba said on Sunday.
Production at one of the world's largest aluminium smelters was 443,533 tonnes in the first half of the year, against 436,256 tonnes in the same period of 2011, a company statement said.
Sales edged up to 446,044 tonnes versus 445,370 tonnes in the first half of 2011.
"Our sales and production figures reflect the company's operational focus on delivering progress while facing challenges," Chief Executive Laurent Schmitt said, pointing to a fall in aluminium prices and weak economic growth in Europe.
The company plans to increase capacity from 881,000 tonnes to 1.28 million tonnes a year in 2015 with a new production line.

Mining permit delays Cameroon alumina project

Reuters - July 6th, 2012

YAOUNDE - More than three years on and a $4.3 billion project to build a bauxite mining and alumina refinery in Cameroon is still waiting for a mining permit, a company executive said on Friday.
India's Hindalco, Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) and Hydromine Inc announced plans for their Cameroon Alumina Ltd (CAL) joint venture in 2008.
The project plans to tap bauxite reserves at Minim-Martap and Ngaoundal deposits in the Adamawa region of northern Cameroon.
"The kick-off of our project is so far delayed because we don't yet have a mining permit," CAL Deputy General Manager Joel Sinquin, told Reuters in an interview.
"We are pushing negotiations with the government and our hope is to be granted the licence as soon as possible, maybe before the end of this year or early next year."
CAL had aimed to produce 4.5 to 9 million tonnes of bauxite per year starting in late 2014. Sinquin said the company now expects to start building the refinery in 2015 and start commercial production in 2018.
The alumina refinery, with a capacity of 1.4 to 3 million tonnes, would be only Africa's second alumina refinery. Rusal operates one in Guinea.
"We are planning an annual production of 1.5 million tonnes of alumina per annum, doubling the continent's current lone producer in Guinea-Conakry which produces about 700,000 tonnes a year," Sinquin said.
"That is at least the first two to three years, after which it will go up to 3 million tonnes per year," Sinquin said.
Alumina is the raw material for the production of aluminium which is used in the manufacturing of vehicles, aircrafts, and domestic products.
"Once we obtain the mining licence, it will take two years of a detailed study at the site and three years after to construct the refinery before mining of the bauxite begins," Sinquin said.
Sinquin said the government may be taking a longer time to go through the project's feasibility study because of the size of the project, and may also be seeking guarantees to ensure that commercial production will indeed begin once the mining licence was granted.
Cameroonian authorities were not available for immediate comment.
However, the central African nation, though seeking to boost investments in its under-explored mineral resources, has made changes to its mining code, insisting that projects must show adequate finances before obtaining a permit.
Sinquin said funding the CAL's alumina project was not an issue given the financial solidity of the companies involved in the joint venture.
According to the country's mining laws, Cameroon's president, Paul Biya, must give the final approval for all mining projects.

China supports 25 pct of local aluminium output-AZ

Reuters - July 6th, 2012

China's provincial governments are propping a quarter of domestic aluminium production through power subsidies despite soft global demand, consultancy AZ China said on Friday.
"These subsidies play a huge part in turning loss-making operations into profitable centres...The number of plants under water shrinks to just a handful," Paul Adkins, managing director of the Beijing-based aluminium consultancy said in a report.
AZ China said five Chinese provinces are now subsidizing power costs for aluminium smelters with more than five million tonnes of China's operating capacity receiving up to RMB0.1/KWH in assistance.
Another two million tonnes of capacity receives seasonal power price cuts, as the wet season provides more water for hydro schemes, especially in China's southwest, it said.
China is the world's biggest consumer of aluminium, but is largely self sufficient. The industry is considered a strategically important regional employer.
Last month, China's top aluminium producing province of Henan rolled out power subsidies to smelters in a bid to revive output, causing prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange to fall over three percent to the lowest in three years.
Henan province, accounts for about 20 percent of China's annual aluminium production capacity of more than 23 million tonnes.

Cameroon Alumina plans $4.3bn bauxite mine and refinery

Metal Bulletine - July 5th, 2012

Cameroon Alumina Limited (CAL) is to build Africa’s second alumina refinery by 2015, close to its Ngaoundal and Minim-Martap bauxite deposits in the West African country.
The $4.3 billion investment will also include associated infrastructure, such as rail and port facilities. CAL is a joint venture between India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd, Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) and Hydromine Inc of the USA. The company expects to start building the refinery in 2015, with commercial production commencing in 2018, CAL managing director Joel Sinquin told Metal Bulletin.

Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) Appoints Alumina Industry Leader Bill Moss as General Manager to Bauxite Alumina Joint Venture (BAJV)

MENAFN - ABN Newswire - July 5th, 2012

Perth based bauxite explorer and developer Bauxite Resources Ltd (ASX:BAU) is pleased to confirm the appointment of bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting industry leader Mr Bill Moss who will take up the role of General Manager with Bauxite Alumina Joint Venture ("BAJV") on 2 October 2012.
Mr. Moss is a qualified Electrical Engineer from the University of Western Australia and spent 15 years with Alcoa working in the Darling Range of Western Australia: initially as Willowdale mine manager and subsequently at the Wagerup and Pinjarra alumina refineries where he oversaw the commissioning of the 600,000 tonne Pinjarra alumina refinery expansion project completed in 2006.
For the past six years Mr Moss has been involved with the Ma'aden bauxite/alumina/aluminium project in Saudi Arabia initially as the Project Director - Mine & Refinery and more recently as the Director - Commissioning & Start Up. The Ma'aden project is a US$10.5 billion joint venture between the Saudi government and Alcoa that is constructing an aluminium complex to produce 1.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of alumina and 750,000 tonnes of aluminium, making the project the world's largest integrated bauxite to aluminium facility.
Mr Moss joins BAJV at a crucial point in its development with the recent announcement of a 73 million tonne (Mt) resource upgrade from its extensive exploration tenement holding, taking the total resource to 124.5Mt, and with the commencement of metallurgical work aimed at providing the basis for future alumina refinery process design and comparison of treatment options.
BRL's Chairman Mr Barry Carbon said, "BRL endorses the appointment of Mr Moss. He is a highly respected executive in both the local and international bauxite alumina industries."
"It is also an important step forward in the development of the BAJV. We consider his decision to join the joint venture is a vote of confidence in the BAJV partners aspirations to develop an alumina refinery in Western Australia."
"Our joint venture with Yankuang presents a unique opportunity for Bauxite Resources and our State's resource development; presenting the opportunity to add significant and sustainable value to the bauxite found throughout south west Western Australia."
"Bauxite Resources is in the fortunate position to have an extensive tenement package throughout a region that produces 23% of the world's alumina and a joint venture partner with strong energy producing credentials and commitment to resource development."
BAJV is a joint venture between Bauxite Resources and Yankuang Resources Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Yankuang Group. The BAJV commenced operations in April 2011 and aims to develop an alumina refinery to produce alumina from locally mined bauxitic gravels.

China's Shandong Lubei halts spot alumina offers following output cut

Platts - July 2nd, 2012

China's Shandong Lubei Enterprise will not offer spot alumina for sale in July as it has cut production by 50% on low prices and limited bauxite supply, a company source said Monday.
Shandong Lubei has an alumina refining capacity of 1 million mt/year, which equates to 80,000-90,000 mt/month.
"We shut one production line about a week ago for maintenance, and once that is ready for restart, we will shut the other line," he said.
"The whole process will take about a month to complete, so we have no plans to offer spot materials this month. We're also not sure if we will offer in August. It depends on prices and bauxite supply then," he added.

BHP Billiton hands back Boffa-Santou Houda bauxite licences

Metalbulletin - July 2nd, 2012

Windhoek - BHP Billiton has handed exploration permits connected to the Boffa-Santou Houda alumina-bauxite project back to the Guinean government, completing its pullout from the bauxite prospect.
BHP said earlier in the year that exploration work at Boffa would officially end on June 30.

Rio Tinto Alcan reaches tentative agreement with Alma workers

The Gazette - July 2nd, 2012

MONTREAL - Rio Tinto Alcan’s big Alma smelter in Saguenay–Lac St. Jean, north of Quebec City, might soon return to full capacity production after a tentative settlement was reached Monday to end a bitter six-month labour dispute.
Alma normally produces 438,000 tonnes of primary aluminum annually and it has been operated at two-thirds of capacity by 220 non-union management staff since Jan. 1 when Alcan began the process of shutting down one-third of its potlines (electrolytic cells).
The old contract covering 780 unionized workers had run out Dec. 31, and the company and unions had failed to reach a new deal after several months of negotiations. The workers, who had already voted to strike, were then locked out.
Union leaders claimed Rio Alcan would be illegally using replacement workers to keep the smelter operating and in recent weeks had stepped up pressure for a settlement in local demonstrations.
Alcan called the tentative pact reached early Monday with the aid of a Quebec government conciliator an agreement in principle.
“We’re satisfied with the terms,” Etienne Jacques, COO of Rio Tinto Primary Metal, North America, said in a statement. “Both parties remained open ... which enabled us to reach an agreement. It’s now up to the employees to have their say. On acceptance, the priority will be to restart full operation and bring the smelter back to full production.”
The loss of one-third of Alma’s production for six months had little effect on the global aluminum market – primary metal prices have been recovering slowly from the 2008-2009 recession.

Hunter mines will survive carbon tax

Newcastle Herald - July 2nd, 2012

CLIMATE Change Minister and Charlton MP Greg Combet stood firmly in front of the stacks at Newstan Colliery as he delivered the message that Hunter coalmines would not be affected by the controversial carbon tax.
His confidence about the future of mining in the Hunter would have been little consolation for the 450 workers sacked from Hydro Aluminium and the 100 from Tomago Aluminium that lost their jobs.
Hydro management said low metal prices and the high Australian dollar were the main reasons for closing the Kurri Kurri plant but the onset of the carbon price was a contributing factor.
Tomago Aluminium boss John Lemberg offered a similar response earlier in the year when he was forced to sack 100 employees.
‘‘The company itself, Norsk Hydro, made absolutely clear that the reason the smelter at Kurri Kurri closed down was because of low aluminium prices and the high value of the Australian dollar.
State member for Newcastle Tim Owen refuted the claim by Mr Combet saying it was the previous state Labor government that did not provide certainty for the Hunter aluminium industry in uncertain times.
‘‘The approvals for contracts and development applications to expand and modernise the plant were not forthcoming from the previous government,’’ Mr Owen said.
‘‘This was at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty because of the advent of the carbon tax.’’

Rio Tinto completes Yarwun upgrade

The Australian - July 1st, 2012

RIO Tinto has completed construction on the $2.4 billion expansion of its Yarwun alumina refinery and has begun the process of ramping up to full production next year.
"The Yarwun expansion project will more than double production at the refinery to 3.4 million tonnes of alumina per year, making Rio Tinto Alcan the world's leading bauxite and alumina producer," Armando Torres, chief operating officer for bauxite and alumina at Rio's Alcan aluminum division, said.

Qatalum Opens Registration for ARABAL 2012

MENAFN - Qatar News Agency - July 1st, 2012

Qatalum has announced the agenda of the 16th Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL 2012), which will be held in Doha from November 19 to 21, 2012. It will focus on future opportunities in the aluminium downstream industry in the Gulf region, as GCC countries contribute to over 13% of the world's aluminium output, with an annual production of 3.6 million tonnes.
Qatalum noted that the region's countries have the required infrastructure and appropriate components to establish any industry based on primary aluminium. The availability of this important material coupled with the investor-friendly regulations, energy resources and industrial infrastructure will further facilitate the establishment of advanced and sophisticated industries associated with aluminium, together with local or foreign investments.
Qatalum stressed that the aluminium production sector is closely linked to a number of other major industries, led by the transport and construction sector. According to statistics, the transport sector leads the way in aluminium consumption taking up half of all manufactured aluminium in 2011 with 11,869 thousand tons and is expected to reach a new level in 2012 of 12,753 thousand tons with a further 8% growth expected in 2013.
In a related development, Qatalum has launched the new ARABAL website: www.arabal.com, which provides full information about the conference, agenda, history and the host company Qatalum, in addition to information about Qatar, to serve the participants and visitors. Qatalum has opened registration for the conference through the same website.
The 16th Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL 2012) will be held at the Grand Hyatt Doha 19th 21st November 2012, under the patronage of H.E. Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum.
The Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL) is the premier trade event for the Middle East's aluminium industry and the only conference in the world attended by every single primary aluminium manufacturer in the region. Therefore, it is the conference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East aluminium industry.