AluNews

Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX:ABZ) Binjour Bauxite Resource Upgrade - 24.5 Mt

ABN Newswire - June 29th, 2012

Sydney - Emerging bauxite exploration and development company, Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX:ABZ) has bauxite tenements totalling more than 8,700 km2 covering the core of the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province.
ABx considers its Binjour Project located 100kms from Bundaberg Port to be a state significant discovery of a major bauxite province which may well become the company's flagship project over the next 5 years.
A 3 to 15 metres thick layer of bauxite extends over the entire 44 square kilometre Binjour Plateau.
Parts of this bauxite layer contain silica gel veinlets which in its current form, makes the bauxite grades too silica-rich. However, this material has been shown to be easily removed by washing and the recovered bauxite then meets DSO grade. The large potential of Binjour is just being revealed, however, this resource estimate only includes bauxite that meets DSO grade.
The district's deposits contain thick zones of premium grade gibbsite-rich bauxite often referred to as "Brown Sugar" bauxite, with good potential for more discoveries. ABx has recently applied for several exploration permits covering the extensions of Binjour Plateau geology.
"Brown Sugar" bauxite is ideal feedstock for sweetener circuits in alumina refineries and will demand a premium price.
Resource Estimation and Deposit Geometry
The Binjour bauxite unit is a distinct and predictable horizontal layer averaging approximately 6 metres in thickness, lying beneath a red mud unit averaging 8 metres in thickness that is free diggable and similar in density to the bauxite layer. The bauxite is high in Al2O3 but varies in SiO2 grade, mainly due to the presence of soft silica r bauxite layer is currently 44 square kilometres which is 15 times larger than the 3.0 square kilometres of DSO bauxite resources estimated herein to contain 24.5 million tonnes.
Metallurgical Results Encouraging: Silica Gel Removal to Expand DSO Bauxite Resources
In the last 6 months, preliminary metallurgical tests have been conducted by a clay processing engineer who found that the silica gel substance was easily removed by a simple, low-cost washing procedure that may become a proprietary technology. The gel is soft and only loosely adhered to the bauxite, which allows for easy liberation when washed, leaving a recovered bauxite that is low-silica, high alumina DSO Grade Bauxite.
Work is continuing to develop a standard sample preparation protocol for future analysis of the silica gel-bearing bauxite samples by commercial laboratories so that large tracts of the bauxite layer can be included in future resource estimations.

Alcoa says grant to help keep Aus smelter running

Reuters - June 29th, 2012

Alcoa on Friday said it expects to keep its Point Henry aluminium smelter in Australia operating until at least mid-2014 but warned losses at the 190,000-tonnes-per-year plant were mounting as market conditions deteriorate.
The news coincides with the granting of a government assistance package totalling more than A$40 million aimed at preserving most of the 600 jobs at the smelter as Alcoa grapples with a severe downturn in market conditions and reviews its aluminium-making operations worldwide.
"The way things are right now, two years is a long time in our industry," Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said in a statement.
"No one can predict exactly what's going to happen with the global economy or where exchange rates and the price of aluminium will move," he said.
When the review was announced, the smelter was facing substantial losses, Cransberg said.
Norsk Hydro last month said it was shutting its 180,000-tonnes-per-year Australian aluminium smelter, also citing low metals prices and a dismal economic outlook.
The country's smelters have been hammered by high costs that make it difficult to compete with Chinese producers, as well as falling metals prices.
With the overhang of high inventories and a 20 percent drop in prices since March, aluminium producers are losing money. Benchmark three-month London Metal Exchange aluminium stood at $1,855 a tonne on Friday.
Production cuts aimed at attacking a global supply glut total around 1 million tonnes worldwide so far this year.
Alcoa has ruled out Australia's looming carbon tax on emissions playing a major role in adding to future losses at the smelter.

Power deal to help secure aluminium smelter's future-Rio

Reuters - June 28th, 2012

Australia's Bell Bay aluminium smelter reached a new 13-year power supply deal to help secure the long-term future of the 182,000-tonnes-a-year plant in the face of depressed market conditions, miner Rio Tinto said on Thursday.
The 57-year-old smelter, located in the island state of Tasmania, is among an estimated $8 billion worth of assets bundled by Rio Tinto into its newly formed Pacific Aluminium division ahead of a possible divestment.
Terms of the power contract with the state-owned supplier Hydro Tasmania were not disclosed.
Bell Bay general manager Ray Mostogl said in a statement tough market conditions were expected to continue for some time.
Rio Tinto in October signalled a major retreat from its aluminium business, putting aluminium-related assets up for sale across six countries, only four years after buying aluminium giant Alcan for $38 billion. To date, no assets have been sold.
The move has been interpreted as a way of diverting yet more resources to iron ore, which now accounts for nearly 80 percent of group earnings.

Bauxite miners facing tough times: Industry

Business Standard - June 26th, 2012

After the state government restricted fresh issuance and renewal of lease for mining in the state, bauxite miners in Porbandar area of Gujarat are facing tough times.
According to industry sources, over Rs 1,000 crore worth of investments of bauxite miners are believed to have been blocked due to the government's restriction.
Porbandar District Chamber of Commerce and Industries officials maintained that about 8.3 million tonnes of bauxite stock is waiting for a dispatch permission from the authorities for past three years.
The mining activity in Porbandar area has almost come to a stand still for last three years after the Gujarat government issued a resolution (GR) to curb illegal mining in this area.
As per the resolution, the units using bauxite for calcinations and beneficiation purpose will not be given lease licenses for mining. The state has close to 200 units solely depending on this.
The state government passed this resolution keeping in view the alleged illegal mining activities, which become rampant in parts of Gujarat over the past couple of years.
"This GR has more or less killed the mining industry in Porbandar. After shut down, over Rs 1000 crore has been blocked in about 8.3 million tonnes un-dispatched bauxite at mines.
We have fought till Supreme Court and court has given decision in our favor but state government is not hearing our voice," said Padubhai Raichura, president of Porbandar District Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
According to Raichura, over 25,000 laborers have lost their employment due to shutdown of mining activity. Moreover, transporters who are connected with it also had to shift to other places or sell off their trucks and divert to other businesses.

Combet rejects NSW call to save smelter

The Age - June 26th, 2012

Federal Industry Minister Greg Combet has rejected a call from NSW for the commonwealth to bail out a Hunter aluminium smelter.
The federal government is reportedly set to announce a $42 million rescue package for Alcoa's Point Henry aluminium smelter operations near Geelong in Victoria to help save 600 jobs.
Norwegian firm Norsk Hydro announced earlier this month 300 redundancies at its Kurri Kurri smelter, in the NSW Hunter Valley, following the loss of 150 jobs in January.

Tanzania: Small Scale Miners Assured of More Support

Tanzania Daily News - June 24th, 2012

Dodoma — The government will continue to support small scale miners and address various challenges they are facing including lack of equipment and reliable markets.
Bauxite miners complained on lack of reliable markets, environmental and taxation challenges in their operations."
We are taxed by so many institutions such as local authorities, forestry officials, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and lands officers. This is too much," a miner said.
Bauxite is used for manufacturing of various products including alluminium hydroxide used in purification of water.
Some miners complained that government officials give foreign investors too much attention at the expense of artisanal miners.
"These people are given a lot of land. Some get up to 10,000 hectares and hundreds of miners are evacuated and turned destitutes," a lady miner said.
They further said that billions of shillings allocated in the government budget for purposes of giving small miners loans or training never reach them.

Alcoa workers' future remains uncertain

Herald Sun - June 24th, 2012

SOME 600 Victorian Alcoa workers will soon learn if they still have jobs, with the Federal Government saying it expects to finish talks soon with the company about the future of its Point Henry aluminium smelter.
Federal Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said the Government wanted to conclude discussions with the company in the "very near future".
Mr Combet said the long-term viability of the smelter depended on the projected value of the Australian dollar, world aluminium prices and state government electricity subsidies.
"We are obviously extremely concerned about the future of the smelter and the 600 workers whose futures, their jobs, depend upon the viability of the smelter, plus their families plus other businesses and the jobs that are associated with the smelter indirectly in Geelong," he said in Canberra.
"The aluminium industry is under significant pressure.
"Obviously there needs to be a case for long-term viability."
Mr Combet said Alcoa's difficulties had nothing to do with the carbon tax.
"They have everything to do with the high value of the Australian dollar and low aluminium prices."
Victoria's Regional Cities Minister Denis Napthine said the state government already provided enormous assistance to Alcoa including electricity subsidies.
"We are now providing additional assistance with regard to the carbon tax costs and, of course, with the Alcoa Anglesea (brown coal) power station.
"We are now looking at an additional package in conjunction with the Federal Government to try and secure the future and the jobs of the people at the Point Henry smelter."
Dr Napthine said the state government was looking at direct assistance for Alcoa but also to the broader manufacturing supply chain.

Orbite starts construction of Quebec alumina plant

Stockhouse - June 22nd, 2012

The Montreal company said its technology will ultimately revolutionized the way that alumina is produced, be it high-purity or smelter grade.
Orbite Aluminae Inc. said it has begun construction of a high purity alumina plant in the Gaspe region of Quebec.
The company said in a press release that the work will be completed before the end of 2012, and commercial production is slated to begin in early 2013.
Orbite estimates that the plant will produce three tonnes of high-purity alumina per day in the 12 months that follow its commissioning.
It added that its Orbite technology will ultimately revolutionized the way that alumina is produced, be it high-purity or smelter grade.
Alumina is a fine white powder which is produced when bauxite ore is proceeds to separate elements of aluminum oxide and iron oxide. Alumina is transformed into aluminum metal in the smelting process.

Alcoa CEO: Demand for Aluminum Growing

CNBC - June 22nd, 2012

Europe is a "big question mark" for commodity markets but at the same time demand for aluminum is strong, Klaus Kleinfeld Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, told CNBC on Friday at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"The demand structure is very strong," Kleinfeld said, adding that demand increased by 10 percent last year and this year it was up by 7 percent.
"Physical demand is growing," the Alcoa CEO said, explaining that demand for full-body lightweight cars and planes was contributing to the increase.
"Aerospace demand is very strong, we're seeing an increase in automotive demand," he added.
"There are quite a number of players under water," Kleinfeld said, estimating that around one third of the world suppliers of aluminum were under water.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Oleg Deripaska, the CEO of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, called on Europe to weaken the euro as the only way out of the debt crisis and said that over the long term he saw consumption of aluminum increasing.
Deripaska said that at the end of this period of low prices the aluminum industry will be more efficient and referred to subsidies granted to some Chinese producers as an isolated incident in one province.
Kleinfeld pointed out that China does not have the resources to be an important competitor on the aluminum production market, as they don't have bauxite or energy reserves and the energy used by Chinese smelters is obtained of coal – more expensive and more polluting – while smelters in other countries use cheaper and cleaner hydropower.
"China does not have the fundamentals to be a competitive force in this [aluminum production] market," he said.

Rusal completes revamp of three aluminum smelters for European market

Platts - June 21st, 2012

Rusal announced Thursday the completion of the first stage of its value-added campaign for its Aluminium Division West business unit. The program boosted the share of value-added products, or VAP, for three smelters, reaching 100% at the Volkhov unit (24,000 mt/year of VAP), 80% at the Nadvoitsy unit (60,000 mt/year of VAP) and 100% at the Urals unit (75,000 mt/year of VAP). Next up will be the modernization of the Volgograd and Kandalaksha smelters, slated for completion in the first quarter of 2013. The drive will enable the smelters to produce 165,000 mt/year and 75,000 mt/year of VAP respectively. The Kandalakasha smelter will produce wire rods, and the Volgograd smelter will increase its output of slabs. The increase of alloys production is underway at the Bogoslovsk aluminum smelter. "Given the current market environment, the switch to VAP is the most efficient approach to enable the smelters of Aluminium Division West remain above breakeven point," said Aluminium Division West director Alexey Arnautov. The company's Aluminium Division West business unit caters to the European market. The Aluminium Division East unit manages the Sayanogorsk, Khakass, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsuk, Novokuznetsk and Bratsk smelters, and caters to the Asian markets.

PSI China awarded new contract in Chinese aluminium sector from the Alnan Group

Your Industry News - June 20th, 2012

PSI subsidiary PSI China has been awarded by the Chinese Guangxi Alnan Aluminium Fabrication Co., LTD. with the implementation of the production management solution PSImetals for all four Alnan plants such as cast house, extrusion plant, hot rolling mill and cold rolling mill.
The project scope includes the complete portfolio of PSImetals from integrated planning, production execution, quality management including order dressing, logistics and energy management.

Research and Markets: Aluminum Industry in Brazil - Market Opportunities and Entry Strategies, Analyses and Forecasts to 2016: Market Profile

Business Wire - June 19th, 2012

DUBLIN - Brazil was the sixth-largest aluminum producer in the world in 2010. The country's domestic aluminum supply exceeded domestic demand throughout the review period.
As such, Brazil exports a significant amount of aluminum. However, demand is expected to exceed supply from 2014 onwards. Brazilian aluminum production recorded a decline during the review period, while Brazilian aluminum consumption grew.
The global economic crisis is the main reason for the negative production growth. The abundant availability of bauxite in Brazil provides an advantage for domestic producers of aluminum over foreign competitors.
Packaging is the largest end user of aluminum in the country, and the rising demand for aluminum beverage cans is an important growth driver for aluminum production in the country. Brazil has also been a world leader in recycling aluminum beverage cans since 2001.
Scope:
- This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the aluminum industry in Brazil
- It provides historical values for the Brazil aluminum industry for the report's 2007-2011 review period and forecast figures for the 2012-2016 forecast period
- It offers a detailed analysis of production, consumption, imports and exports of aluminum
- It details the regulatory framework for the aluminum industry in Brazil
- It covers an exhaustive summary on key trends, drivers and issues in the aluminum industry
- It details the competitive landscape in the aluminum industry in Brazil
Reasons To Buy:
- Gain insight into the aluminum industry in Brazil
- Identify the key market trends, opportunities and challenges in Brazil
- Make strategic business decisions using top-level historic and forecast market data related to the aluminum industry in Brazil
- Understand the demand and supply-side dynamics within the aluminum industry, along with key market trends and growth opportunities
- Assess the competitive landscape in the aluminum industry in Brazil, and formulate effective market-entry strategies
- Analyze the regulatory environment governing the aluminum industry in Brazil, enabling identification of the options available to enter the market by analyzing the business environment

RUSAL: China key to aluminium price

Business Report - June 19th, 2012

Russia's RUSAL, the world's biggest aluminium producer, is prepared to cut output and costs this year to support prices, which could recover in 2013 if China also reduces production, a senior executive told Reuters.
Aluminium prices ended last year near 18-month lows on concerns about weakening global demand for the metal, which is used in drink cans, car parts, planes and iPads, and prompted Alcoa and Norsk Hydro to cut capacity.
Since then aluminium prices have fallen another 5 percent and forced RUSAL to prepare to shut 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of annual capacity this year to support global prices.
But RUSAL also expects China to support the global market.
“This has gone on for long enough, and all producers should take responsibility for decisions on production volumes and more actively cut unprofitable production,” Mukhamedshin said in remarks cleared for publication on Tuesday.
“This particularly suggests China.”
The metal, which is in chronic oversupply, is under pressure from reports that China's top aluminium-producing province of Henan may subsidise electricity used by loss-making smelters in a bid to spur local growth.
Mukhamedshin criticised this policy, calling on China to cut unprofitable production. Global companies, excluding Chinese producers, have cut output by about 1.3 million tonnes of since December 2011.
Mukhamedshin estimated that 6 to 7 million tonnes of aluminium output in China are unprofitable now out of the 22 million that the country is expected to produce this year.
The rest of the world has about 3 million tonnes of loss-making capacity, he said.
“Our Chinese colleagues cut 1.7 million tonnes last year, and since January we do not see capacity shutting down in the country, which accounts for 45 percent of global aluminium output,” he said.
RUSAL owns the Friguia alumina refinery in Guinea, which has not been in production since April 3, despite the suspension of a strike at the plant.
Mukhamedshin said the company still believed the political situation in the African country would change for the better but was also interested in bauxite mines elsewhere on the continent.
“There are other fish in the sea. We are also interested in other countries in Africa - Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Ghana,” he added, without elaborating. - Reuters

Bauxite Resources CEO steps down

Finance News Network - June 19th, 2012

Perth based Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) chief executive officer and executive director Scott Donaldson will step down from his dual roles by the end of the year, after two years leading the company.
Bauxite says Mr Donaldson had made a significant contribution and has overseen its joint venture with Yankuang Resources as well as the 700 per cent increase in JORC compliant resources.
No statement has been made relating to a replacement.
Bauxite booked a net loss of $3.2 million in the first half of its 2012 financial year.

Warden opposes SW bauxite exploration

AAP, The West Australian - June 19th, 2012

The WA mining warden has recommended rejection of a proposal to explore for bauxite south of Bridgetown.
Perth-based Bauxite Resources, which has already been granted exploration licences over 59 tenements in the South West, said its application for three additional exploration licences south of Bridgetown did not get a mining warden's backing.
The warden had recommended to WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore that the applications be refused.
But if the minister was minded to grant the licences, the warden recommended that he refer them to the Environmental Protection Authority.
And if Mr Moore did make such a referral, he should include a report and transcript of the warden's hearing to the EPA.
Mr Moore's department will seek comments and submissions from affected parties, including from Bauxite Resources, before he makes a decision.
The company continues to try to expand its small mining operation at Bindoon, north of Perth, but has previously faced strong community opposition.
There are also growing calls for WA's South West region, a winery and tourism hotspot, to be protected from mining.
Greens MP Giz Watson is opposed to coal mining in the Margaret River area and recently introduced a bill to parliament to amend the Mining Act 1978 so Mr Moore has greater discretion to exempt any land from mining.
The WA government in February knocked back plans by Vasse Coal Management to build an underground coal mine 15km northeast of the Margaret River township amid vigorous opposition from locals.
Bauxite Resources shares closed unchanged at 11.5 cents.

Brazilian aluminium output up by 3.4% year-on-year in May

MetalBulletin - June 18th, 2012

São Paulo - Primary aluminium output in Brazil rose 3.4% year-on-year in May, according to Abal, Brazil's national aluminium association.
Production totalled 123,400 tonnes last month, compared with 119,400 tonnes in May 2011, Abal said.
The year-on-year growth was driven by Votorantim Metais, which increased its aluminium production by 23.4% during the month.

Guinea says 2012 growth target at risk

Reuters - June 18th, 2012

CONAKRY - A slowdown in alumina and diamond production in early 2012 is jeopardising Guinea's target for securing economic growth of 4.7 percent for the year as a whole, an economy and finance ministry official said on Monday.
Guinea, the world's largest exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, has seen strikes over pay and benefits hit production this year at the Friguia alumina refinery operated by Russia's UC RUSAL - the only one in the West African country.
A ministry report showed production of alumina, which is ultimately converted into the metal aluminium, slipped to 182,560 tonnes in the first four months of this year from 184,090 tonnes for the same period last year.
"In current conditions, if these trends continue, it could affect our target of 4.7 percent growth this year," Emmanuel Sossouadouno, a senior official in the economic studies section in the economy and finance ministry told Reuters.
"The situation could get even worse in coming months given what is happening in Friguia in the past two months," he said.
Union and company officials said last month that no alumina had been produced at the plant since April 3. The firm said at the time output was not hit as RUSAL compensated the shortfall in alumina from its reserves but it also recognised that the plant was not fully operational.

Rules pose threat to bauxite growth in Asia-Pacific

Fin24 - June 17th, 2012

Government regulations might hinder the growth of Asia-Pacific bauxite production, which is expected to rise to meet growing regional aluminum demand for aluminum, according to a report from GBI Research.

Dames: Smelters will continue to operate

Fin24 - June 17th, 2012

Johannesburg – Eskom will allow BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] to produce aluminium using subsidised electricity, even if winter conditions necessitate load-shedding.
“We have a contract with Billiton and we will fulfill that contract,” said chief executive Brian Dames in response to the question whether he, like his predecessor, would allow Billiton’s two aluminium smelters to go ahead with production even if the pressure on the national power grid became so critical that he was obliged to revert to load-shedding.
The power grid is certainly currently under pressure.
During the previous load-shedding sessions and the three days that Eskom brought the mining industry to a stop in January 2008, Billiton continued producing aluminium unabated.
All the raw materials for doing so are imported and more than 95% of its production is exported.
In terms of its supply contract they may be turned off only a couple of hours a week when there are electricity shortages on the network. Sources say this would be at most two hours a week.
The aluminium that Billiton currently produces at the two plants is moreover smelted at a loss. The two smelters produce around 1m tonnes of aluminium a year, but in the past two years their profitability has declined sharply owing to surplus production in China.
In the half-year to end-December the two smelters experienced a $67m loss - owing, inter alia, to input prices.

Ghana’s Bauxite Under Threat

GhanaWeb - June 16th, 2012

The operations of Ghana Bauxite Company are being disrupted as a result of the company’s inability to transport a chunk of its ore to the Takoradi Port.
The deplorable state of the Western Rail Lines is negatively affecting the company, which is a major producer of bauxite in the country.
Dan Owiredu, President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who disclosed this, noted that “the situation is so dire that the very viability of Ghana Bauxite Company, located in Awaso, about 240 kilometres from the Takoradi port, is now under serious threat.
Indeed the company has been racking up losses in the last few years due largely to its inability to haul the tones of ores it produces effectively and efficiently.”
He said the state of the Western Rail Lines had compelled the company to haul the ore from its mines to the Takoradi port mainly by the more expensive road mode.

Supply, demand catch up with BHP

The Australian - June 16th, 2012

THE prolonged downturn in aluminium markets is catching up with BHP Billiton, and analysts now say it may have to write down the value of its aluminium division by $US2 billion ($2bn) and subject it to radical surgery.
While the potential impairment charge would initially be on the group's South African smelters, the potential for later writedowns on its alumina assets in Australia and Brazil highlights growing pressures on the global industry, and on Australian operators in particular.
The local industry is a mess. Rio Tinto is still trying to sell its loss-making Australian smelters and Norway's Norsk Hydro has confirmed the closure of its Kurri Kurri smelter in the Hunter Valley.
In addition, this month Alcoa is expected to announce it is closing the Port Henry smelter near Geelong, absent a new deal with unions and power suppliers.
The underlying cause of the pain is the structural shift in the global industry caused by the rise of Chinese producers that leverage off low-cost coal, low-cost labour and low-cost construction to convert bauxite/alumina into a molten form of US dollars.
The rise of the Chinese industry means bloated global supply, implying ongoing lightweight prices for the lightweight metal despite apparently rosy demand growth.
For Australian producers the situation is all the more grave because of the revenue sapping effects of the rise in the dollar to parity and beyond. And the winding back in future years of protection for trade-exposed emitters means the Gillard government's carbon tax will become another negative for the local industry.
BHP has already said that aluminium is no longer a priority in its portfolio. It will instead run the business for cash and divert capital expenditure elsewhere.
The mining giant last month consolidated aluminium with another struggle town business unit, nickel, under a single umbrella.

Orbite Aluminae starts construction of full-scale Cap-Chat plant

Mining Weekly.com - June 15th, 2012

JOHANNESBURG - TSX-listed Orbite Aluminae on Thursday said it had started construction of its high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec, which would see it converting the pilot plant to a state-of-the-art full-scale facility.
In February 2011, Orbite’s pilot alumina-extraction pilot plant in Cap-Chat produced its first ton of high-purity alumina in one day, using its own proprietary technology. Aluminerie Alouette, the largest aluminium smelter in the Americas, as well as the Canadian government and private investors, support the plant.
The plant is being constructed at a cost of between $26-million and $30-million, net of refundable tax credits, and is expected to achieve a production capacity of about three tons of high-purity alumina a day within the first year of operations, without requiring further significant capital expenditure.
“For this vital construction project, we wanted to partner with the best professionals in the business, not only to ensure our deadlines would be respected, but also to adhere to the highest chemical industry and safety standards for the construction of an industrial facility such as ours.
“Our business partners have all demonstrated their ability to deliver high-quality projects within the established budgets and timeframes,” Orbite CEO Richard Boudreault said in a statement.
Chief engineer Denis Primeau said construction of the Orbite high-purity alumina plant would be carried out in four phases. The foundation and infrastructure would be completed by the end of July; the structure and exterior would be finished in September; the mechanical systems and electrical installations would follow, and commissioning of the plant was slated for December.
Orbite owns 100% of the mining rights on its 6 441 ha Grande-Vallée property, the site of an aluminous clay deposit located 32 km north-east of Murdochville, Québec. A National Instrument 43-101-compliant technical report indicates that the clay deposit contains a conservative estimate of about 2 t/m2 of alumina and 800-million to 1-billion tons of indicated mineral resources at 100 m depth in the property’s Marin sector.
The property is strategically located near several deep-water ports and across the St Lawrence river from the province’s significant aluminium smelters, paving the way to replace a significant portion of the higher-cost alumina Québec smelters' import yearly, and also to increase potential exports. Québec is the world’s third-largest producer of aluminium.

Aluminerie Alouette wins a prestigious prize with the American Metal Market in New York

CNW - June 15th, 2012

SEPT-ÎLES, QC - Last June 12, at the American Metal Market Awards ceremony held in New York, Aluminerie Alouette was awarded a major honor. This event was part of the Annual Aluminium Summit. It is with great pride that the President and CEO, André Martel, received on behalf of Aluminerie Alouette, the prize in the "Aluminium Smelter Excellence" category.
"To receive this award is a great honor for all Alouette employees. In the last years, we have made remarkable progress particularly in health and safety, production, energy efficiency and environmental performance. Our continuous improvement approach and our commitment to constantly innovate have allowed us to differentiate ourselves both in the quality of our processes and our performance in general", says Mr. Martel.
This distinction was awarded following the jury's examination of our application file addressing management, human resources, results, commitment and the impact of Alouette in its communities.
"Alouette's participative management approach promotes the mobilization of all employees. This flexible management style facilitates a common understanding of issues and fosters teamwork, essential to a world-class performance.
Through this teamwork and to the commitment to excellence by everyone, Aluminerie Alouette can be recognized internationally. This award occurs at very appropriate time as Alouette celebrates its 20th operations anniversary.
The prize shines on all of us and confirms that Aluminerie Alouette is at the forefront of an increasingly competitive global market," said Mr. Martel.

Aluminium demand set to double, says Alcoa

Car Advice - June 15th, 2012

Demand for aluminium in the auto industry is expected to more than double by 2025 as manufacturers seek lightweight alternatives to steel in an effort to meet ever tightening fuel efficiency regulations.
Reuters reports that more and more auto makers are beginning the transition away from heavy steel components and moving toward an increased use of aluminium according to the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminium, Alcoa, whose director of automotive marketing, Randall Scheps, spoke to delegates attending the American Metal Market’s Aluminium Summit in New York this week.

World may face aluminum deficit in 2013: Rio Tinto

The Economic Times - June 13th, 2012

NEW YORK: The global aluminum market will be more balanced this year and could shift into a supply deficit by 2013 as new projects fail to keep the pace with high-cost capacity cuts this year, Rio Tinto Alcan's Chief Executive said Tuesday.
"Supply will become more challenging ... the market will be near a balance this year," Jacynthe Cote said at American Metal Market's Aluminum Summit in New York.
"If you look at the supply side, year-over-year, there's been virtually zero growth given what has been added versus what has been taken out."
Many higher-cost smelters in the 40-million-tonne-per-year market have struggled to remain profitable after prices plunged almost a third in the past 12 months, to below $2,000 per tonne.
On Tuesday, aluminum hit December lows, roiled by concerns over sluggish demand and high inventories.
Three-month prices on the London Metal Exchange were at $1,960 per tonne on Tuesday, close to or below many plants' breakeven level.
With power accounting for a third of production costs, smelters with long-term steady energy contracts or cheap hydroelectric power can survive the current turmoil.
But many have divested or shut expensive production. Rio Tinto Plc plans to sell 13 assets across six countries, including smelters and alumina refineries worth an estimated $8 billion.
U.S. producer Alcoa Inc. has said it is taking a hard look at the cost profile of its Point Henry smelter, having already announced the shutdown of about 500,000 tonnes of annual capacity at the start of the year.
Norsk Hydro shut its 180,000-tonne per year Kurri Kurri smelter, both in Australia.
"So we are getting closer to a near balanced market. If that trend continues, we could be in a slight deficit next year and the following year because all of the projects are being delayed now," Cote said.
Even so, while producers make cut-backs, many are replacing it with capacity in low-cost regions such as the Middle East.
Alcoa is building its Ma'aden smelter in Saudi Arabia which will open next year and produce 740,000 tonnes per year of aluminum. Many traders say they are also concerned that Chinese output remains high even with the falling prices.
And while Cote sees a long-term supply challenge, demand outlook, primarily from China, is a bright prospect.
"I can't prevent myself from being pretty positive about China," Cote said.
China's move last week to cut interest rates for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis was another sign that the world's leading metals consumer "will continue to track their growth in a very responsible way", Cote said.
"China is still going to grow at near 8 percent this year," she said. "The aluminum demand will probably be near 9 percent this year ... it's growing in the single digits, but it's growing from a much larger base than 10 years ago."
Over the next 5 to 10 years, 70 percent of aluminum supply will come from China and close to 25 percent will come from the Middle East, she said.
Talk of a supply deficit may also surprise those who see record stockpiles of almost 5 million tonnes in LME-bonded warehouses, with another 4-5 million tonnes estimated to be in off-exchange storage, as a sign of massive oversupply.
But much of that material, which started building in 2007 as the global economy deteriorated and demand fell, is not immediately available as it is held in financing deals, traders say.
In those deals, the owner of the metal agree to keep the material in storage for months and often years at a time in return for cheap rent.
They make a profit because their metal is gaining in value due to the contango on the LME, with forward prices at a premium to cash.

ALUMINIUM World Trade Fair Expands in 2012

AZoM.com - June 12th, 2012

A new location, new theme pavilions and a considerable increase in exhibition area - the signs bode well for ALUMINIUM World Trade Fair which will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre (Germany) from 9 to 11 October.
Five months before the start of the trade fair, the change of location from the Ruhr to the Rhine has already paid off: To date, ALUMINIUM 2012 is already larger than the previous event two years ago in Essen.
750 exhibitors from 40 countries have booked their stands so far; among them are the big key players like Alcoa, Constellium, Hydro, Trimet, SMS, BWG or Sapa. Many exhibitors have taken advantage of the change in location to enlarge their stands.
Currently, organiser Reed Exhibitions records a 20 percent increase in area. With an exhibition area of 75,000 square meters the world fair thus continues on its success course.
At the new location at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, ALUMINIUM will allocate the halls even more clearly to individual exhibition segments than in the past.
The trade fair will follow the process chain, from primary products and the associated technologies (Hall 9) to casting and heat treatment as well as recycling (Hall 10) and semi-finished products (Halls 11 & 12) to surface treatment (Hall 13) and the themes of metal working and processing, welding and joining (Hall 14).
The excellent capacity utilisation of ALUMINIUM is currently also reflected in the bookings for the five theme pavilions and six national pavilions. Among the largest joint pavilions is the Chinese Pavilion.
The range of country presentations will be completed by the Danish Pavilion, the long-established Holland Pavilion, the French Pavilion and the Scandinavian Pavilion.
GDA - Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e.V., is organizing the "ALUMINIUM 2012 Conference" which will accompany ALUMINIUM 2012. Planned for the three exhibition days are five different sessions, with six presentations each, on the application-related topics "Automotive", "Transport", "Building", "Surface" and "Aluminium Markets".
The presentations will be given by well-known speakers who have close contact to actual practice, coming from the areas of the aluminium production, processing and applications industries. The conference will be held in English.

Bauxite Mining Market in Europe to 2020 - Market Characterized by Increased Regional Demand for Aluminum Backed by Significant Reserves

The Pioneer - June 11th, 2012

ReportReserve’s new report, ‘Bauxite Mining Market in Europe to 2020 - Market Characterized by Increased Regional Demand for Aluminum Backed by Significant Reserves’ provides key information and analysis of the European bauxite mining industry, which consists of Russia and Greece.
The report covers the industry’s drivers and restraints, production, reserves and consumption, and provides details of each country’s bauxite trade statistics (imports and exports).
This report is based on data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by ReportReserve’s team of industry experts.
Scope
- Important drivers and restraints which are estimated to play a role in transforming the industry during the outlook period 2012-2020.
- Production of bauxite in Europe – Historical data 2000 to 2011 is given. Forecast forward until 2020.
- Consumption demand of bauxite in terms of volume – Historical data 2000 to 2011 is given. Forecast forward until 2020.
- Export and import markets for Europe’s bauxite, categorized by the export and import markets of Russia and Greece.
- Top Active and Planned projects spanning in the Europe bauxite mining landscape.
- The policy and regulatory frameworks governing the European bauxite mining industry.
- Comprehensive profiles of key bauxite mining companies in the region’s industry, such as United Company RUSAL Plc (RUSAL) and Mytilineos Holdings S.A. (Mytilineos), are also provided.
Reasons to buy
- Gain a strong understanding of the region’s bauxite mining industry.
- Facilitate market analysis and forecasting of future bauxite industry trends.
- Facilitate decision making and strategy formulation on the basis of strong historic and forecast production, consumption and trade data.
- Identify key growth and investment opportunities in the region's bauxite mining industry.
- Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industry’s growth potential.

Nalco wants its Indonesia project at port site

The Pioneer - June 10th, 2012

The National Aluminum Company Limited (Nalco), which is proposing to set up a smelter and captive power plant in Indonesia with an investment of Rs 16,500 crore, is yet to select a location for its aluminium complex.
"The Indian public sector major aluminium company is looking for a suitable site for setting up the plant," said Indonesian Ambassador to India Andi M Ghalib. Nalco is looking for a site nearer to a port as the unit would heavily depend on export of aluminium, he said.
Nalco has signed a non-binding MoU with the Government of Kalimantan to develop the project in East Kalimantan province of Indonesia. Since the port is far away from this location, Nalco is still on the lookout for a suitable plant site.
Nalco has proposed to set up a 0.5-million-tonne-per-annum smelter plant and a 1250-MW captive power plant in Indonesia. It has already prepared a detailed feasibility report for the project and is soon to appoint consultants for environment impact assessment and financial advisory services.
Counsellor of Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Leonard F Hutabarat said Nalco is weighing an option to use a Malaysian port, which is nearer to Kalimantan province, for exports of its products. In that case, a tripartite agreement has to be signed with the Malaysian Government.

UAE smelters on show at aluminium summit in USA

AME Info - June 10th, 2012

From 11 to 13 June this year, senior industry representatives will gather in New York, USA, for the 2nd Annual Aluminium Summit. This forum, hosted by leading metals publication, American Metal Market, brings high-level leadership and market participants together to share and debate ideas for advancing the aluminium industry and its supply chain.
Aiming to leverage the opportunity to reach this prestigious audience, the UAE's primary aluminium producers - Dubai Aluminium 'DUBAL' and Emirates Aluminium 'EMAL' - will participate jointly in the exhibition component being held alongside the summit.
The combined DUBAL-EMAL exhibition stand will showcase the two companies, and their product portfolios. "DUBAL's Marketing and Sales team is responsible for marketing the metal produced by EMAL.
This amounted to 288,568 metric tonnes of cast aluminium in 2010, and 749,000 metric tonnes in 2011; in addition to DUBAL's own sales, which exceeded one million tonnes in both years," says Walid Al Attar, Executive Vice President Marketing & Sales at DUBAL and Vice President Marketing & Sales at EMAL.
"Indicative of how important the American market is to us, approximately 123,900 metric tonnes of DUBAL's 2011 production was shipped to North America, as was some 119,160 metric tonnes of that produced by EMAL - i.e. 243,060 metric tonnes in total, representing 13.6 per cent of our combined production.
The participation of DUBAL and EMAL at the 2nd Annual Aluminium Summit reflects our confidence in achieving further growth in this market going forward. In anticipation of this, we have already begun to strengthen its existing marketing and sales offices in the USA."
An entirely state-owned enterprise, DUBAL owns and operates a one million metric tonne per annum primary aluminium smelter at Jebel Ali, Dubai — one of the largest single-site operations of its kind in the world — and in 2011 produced 1,014,795 metric tonnes of hot metal.
The company is renowned internationally for its premium purity, high quality products and services; as well as its commitment to sustainable development through conscious efforts to maximise the health and safety people, reduce the impact of its operations on the environment, and invest in the social and economic development of the community.

Vedanta to buy aluminium firm in Odisha for Rs 1,811 cr

Business Standard - June 9th, 2012

Anil Agarwal of Vedanta has found an ally in Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) to bail himself out of the raw material crisis ailing his flagship Odisha aluminium project.
The London-listed Vedanta, promoted by Agarwal, has entered into a tripartite agreement with L&T and its partner Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) to buy them out from their aluminium venture in Odisha, called Raykal Aluminium. Raykal was the SPV (special purpose vehicle) floated by the two partners.
In a filing with the US regulator, SEC, Vedanta has said it has already acquired 24.5 per cent stake in Raykal for Rs 200.70 crore and has the right to acquire the entire 100 per cent over a period of time for a total consideration of Rs 1,811 crore, “subject to certain milestones being achieved.”
Analysts say the company’s value will rise exponentially with the progress of the mining development programme.
According to the Directory of Geology in Odisha, the two mines are estimated to have 250-280 million tonnes of bauxite reserves, good enough to take care of VAL’s current requirement for 50-90 years. Such a long-term bauxite supply agreement is bound to give Vedanta’s Lanjigargh project a much needed lifeline.
Analysts cheered the positive news expected to give a major relief to Vedanta Aluminium on the raw material security front.
Its massive Rs 60,000-crore project to expand its alumina refining capacity from a million tonnes to five million tonnes has been facing problems over the past few years after environment clearances were not sanctioned for its captive bauxite mines in the Niyamgiri hills.
The company has already pumped in Rs 45,000 crore into the project, but with no raw material linkages it has been desperately seeking alternatives to revive sinking production.
VAL has an ambitious plan of integrated aluminium facilities, including an operating alumina refinery at Lanjigarh and an aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda.

Ormet Announces $1.1 Million Quarterly Loss

The Intelligencer - June 8th, 2012

Ormet Corp. posted a $1.1 million net loss for the first three months of 2012, but company officials spent $1.9 million during this time to reline 22 pots at the Primary Aluminum Reduction Plant.
As Ormet gears up for the future, the company continues dealing with costs related to the restart of Ormet's Burnside, La., alumina facility, though President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Tanchuk said operations there are coming into place.
"Our Burnside, La., alumina refinery operation continues to increase production and is nearing capacity. I want to recognize and thank our employees at the refinery for their hard work and dedication in making the start-up a reality," said Tanchuk.
With eyes focused on the future, Tanchuk and other Ormet leaders are now looking at the possibility of making joint investments with Trafigura, one of the world's leading commodity traders, specializing in the oil, minerals and metals markets, with 81 offices in 54 countries.
"To be successful, Ormet must grow smartly while we continue to focus on our current operations. Trafigura is a great partner for us to accomplish our goals," Tanchuk said. "Clearly, the strengths of our two companies complement each other."
Trafigura and Ormet entered into an agreement to explore and evaluate joint investments in projects in the bauxite, alumina and aluminum industry. Trafigura hopes its global experience in mining, commodities and logistics will complement Ormet's aluminum production expertise.
The companies are already working together at the Burnside facility, as Trafigura provides off and on loading services for Ormet's alumina refinery.
"We've agreed this venture at a crucial time for the global aluminum industry. Although this sector continues to grow, some of its major players are divesting non-core assets," said Trafigura director Simon Collins.
"The combination of Trafigura's world-wide reach and Ormet's industry expertise will identify key investment opportunities and demonstrates our joint commitment to meeting market needs."

Bauxite mining in Bua brings in $20M

Fijivillage.com - June 8th, 2012

$US20 million has come into the country through the bauxite mining operation in Bua.
Aurum Explorations Fiji Limited’s mine manager Vanuaca Basilio said this is in terms of taxes and wages paid to government and wages paid to the employees.
He said $2.5 million has also been paid to the landowners.
The bauxite mine currently has close to 150 permanent employees and 250 seasonal workers from around Fiji.
The first shipment of 60,000 tonnes of bauxite was sent to China yesterday.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji has stated that the expansion in the mining and quarrying sector is based on the commencement of bauxite mining in Nawailevu, Bua, and gold mining activities which are expected to boost the economy this year.

UAE Urges Change in Geography of World Aluminium Industry; Interviews Available in New York, 11-13 June 2012

GlobeNewswire - June 8th, 2012

This week (11-13 June) senior industry representatives from around the world are gathering at the 2nd Annual Aluminium Summit in New York to share and debate ideas for advancing the aluminium industry and its supply chain.
A panelist at the event, Khaled Salmeen, Executive Vice President of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), is inviting companies involved in producing aluminium goods and components to consider setting up business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a move that could signal a change in the geography of world metal production as the economies of the Middle East grow and diversify away from oil.
In addition world-class infrastructure, Salmeen points to the benefits of highly competitive land lease rates, the cost and environmental savings associated with local utility supplies and a currency (the UAE Dhiram) fixed to the US dollar.
In Abu Dhabi, Kizad is building a massive industrial development that it claims is the first in the world to be based on vertically integrated "clusters" serving industries such as aluminium, steel, plastics, food and beverages, logistics, glass and paper.
It will be divided into geographical areas containing anchor tenants producing basic materials to supply mid-stream and downstream manufacturers and also attract producers of support goods and services.
The proximity of the businesses within Kizad's aluminium cluster allows the establishment of a "hot metal road", a specially constructed roadway enabling the transport and delivery of aluminium in molten form, saving downstream manufacturers the considerable financial and environmental cost of re-melting ingots.
Emirates Aluminium (EMAL), Kizad's first anchor tenant, has already become the largest greenfield single-site smelter in the world with a capacity of 750,000 metric tonnes per annum in Phase 1 (completed December 2010) which will increase to around 1.3 million metric tonnes by the end of 2014.
EMAL is currently supplying more than 200 customers in 36 countries around the world, with the US as its biggest market.
Kizad is an integral part of the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ), currently the UAE's largest infrastructure project, which comprises a deep-water port with an annual capacity of 2 million TEUs (twenty foot container equivalent units) and 9 million tonnes of general cargo, and an adjacent industrial zone covering an area of 420 km2 (260 square miles) -- approximately half the size of New York City -- under construction by Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) at Taweelah, midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Gooding Aluminium Ceiling Panels - Hackney Marshes Changing Rooms

Industry Today - June 7th, 2012

Gooding Aluminium are a respected national and international supplier of a wide range of high quality aluminium sheets, aluminium profiles and 'made to order' aluminium products with 'invisible fixing solutions.
Gooding Aluminium were the perfect supplier when Hackney Marshes, whom are famous for being the 'grassroots' in amateur football, had to update the facilities they provide to hundreds of players and spectators.
The London Borough of Hackney developed an ambitious vision for the site, recognising its community value and pivotal location adjacent to the Olympic Park.
Features of the new building include community and spectator facilities on the first floor, with changing rooms located at ground-floor level with provision for disabled players.
Gooding Aluminium manufactured and supplied mill finish single and double folded perforated aluminium ceiling trays, throughout the corridors of the South Marsh Community Hub building project.
The aluminium ceiling panels are attached to specially produced aluminium angle with rivet nut fixings.
The rivet nut fixings provide an excellent solution where components are joined together to form a solid anchor, providing a clean finish to the ceiling panels without damaging the material's surface.
The ceiling panels were installed throughout the corridors that connect 27 changing rooms in the hub. With its excellent corrosion resistance, mill aluminium (untreated) was selected as being the most suitable and cost effective finish for the ceiling panels.
Gooding Aluminium was established in 1979, their ceiling panels have been used for various different projects.
Gooding Aluminium is a respected national and international supplier of ceiling panels as well as many other aluminium products.
To find out more about their ceiling panels, you can call 0208 692 2255 to speak to their team about ceiling panels or any other aluminium products.
If you would like to find out more about the ceiling panels and products used at Hackney Marshes, you can see more images of this award winning project by visiting www.goodingalum.com

Alba Plans $2.5 Billion Expansion As Rivals Shut Plants

Bloomberg - June 7th, 2012

Aluminium Bahrain BSC (ALBH) will spend $2.5 billion by 2015 to increase output, betting prices of the metal will rebound from a 30 percent slump in the past year that’s forcing U.S. and European rivals to shutter plants.
“Prices reflect the balance of supply and demand in the short-term but they will come back to normal,” Chief Executive Officer Laurent Schmitt said in an interview on June 5.
Alba, as the company is known, plans to invest the money on adding a potline to produce 400,000 metric tons a year, boosting total capacity by about 30 percent to 1.3 million tons, Schmitt said. It will also include power generation for the development.
The producer is seeking to begin a feasibility study before the end of the year and is in discussions with the Bahraini government over allocating energy to the development, he said.
Alba is among Middle East producers able to rely on cheap energy to buck a global trend of shrinking output of the metal. Emirates Aluminium Co., or Emal, plans to invest $4.6 billion to expand its capacity to 1.4 million tons a year by 2014, while Saudi Arabian Mining Co.’s $10.8 billion venture with Alcoa Inc. includes building a 740,000 ton-a-year smelter by 2013.
Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY), Europe’s third-largest aluminum producer, said this week it would close a smelter in Australia, Alcoa plans to shut older sites, and United Co. Rusal, the biggest producer, is studying curbs on smelting in the second half.
“The Gulf isn’t losing its advantage in terms of low-cost energy” even as U.S. gas prices fall, said Schmitt, who worked for 15 years at Pechiney SA, a French aluminum producer.
Prices Decline
Aluminum prices have declined 30 percent from a high of $2,803 a ton on May 3, 2011, to as low as $1,973.75 today in London trading as world economic growth weakens.
“Prices in the second-quarter will be low,” Schmitt said in Manama, Bahrain. “$2,500 a ton would reflect the long-term supply-demand balance and the value of this material.”
Falling U.S. gas prices after the development of shale gas technology that boosts output have cut energy costs for some smelters. Natural-gas futures are down 20 percent this year, even after rising 26 percent from a 10-year low on April 19.
Futures for July declined by 1.1 percent to $2.394 a million British thermal units by 1:22 p.m. in Dubai. Schmitt, who says Alba’s production costs put it among the lowest quartile of aluminum companies, sees U.S. gas prices rising to $5.5 in 2015.
In comparison, Bahrain increased natural-gas prices to $2.25 this year from $1.50 a unit. Alba’s funding plan is similar to prior expansions, mostly using bank loans and export credit agencies, Schmitt said. Half of its output is used by Bahrain’s downstream industry, he said.
It plans “some sort of upstream integration” in the long- term by investing in bauxite mines or alumina refining, he said.
Alba contributes 65 percent of non-oil related exports and 10,000 jobs, with Asia and Europe each taking 15 percent, Saudi Arabia 10 percent and the rest of the Middle East the same.

China smelters cutting aluminum output 20%

gulfnews.com - June 5th, 2012

Aluminum smelters in China's biggest producing region are cutting output by 20 per cent on falling prices and higher costs, potentially spurring imports in the second half, said an industry official.
About 800,000 metric tons of Henan province's 4 million tons of capacity has been suspended, increasing the prospect of higher imports in the second half amid lower prices in London, Wen Xianjun, vice-chairman of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said in an interview in Shanghai on Wednesday.
China's economy is cooling as Premier Wen Jiabao's extended campaign to curb consumer prices and the property market damp domestic demand and Europe's debt crisis crimps exports.
Norsk Hydro ASA, Europe's third-largest aluminum producer, will close its Kurri Kurri smelter in Australia as industry overcapacity and weakening demand curb prices, it said on Wednesday.
"Most Chinese smelters are losing money and those in Henan are operating deep in the red, so we're worried that some of them will die," Wen said. His group represents producers and major state-owned trading firms.
China, the world's biggest user and producer, has imported 226,588 tons in the first four months this year, more than double from a year ago.
The nation's consumption accounts for about 40 per cent of global use.
Hydro, which competes in Europe with United Co Rusal and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc and has plants from Qatar to Canada, is cutting costs and capacity after aluminum prices slid 29 per cent from a May 2011 peak.
The US's Alcoa Inc also said this year it would shut older aluminum plants in North America and Europe, while Rusal is set to curtail smelting capacity next half.
Henan province, located in central China, produced 3.88 million tons of primary aluminum last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, or almost 20 per cent of the nation's 17.56 million tons in 2011, based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Nalco gets nod for Rs 12,000-crore investment to set up JV plants with GMDC

The Economic Times - June 5th, 2012

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government, last week, okayed the Rs 12,000-crore investment plan by National Aluminium Company in Gujarat to set up an alumina and smelter plant. The approval has cleared the way for Nalco and state-owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation to set up a joint venture, a senior official from Gujarat's department of industries and mines said. GMDC will have a 26% stake in the joint venture.
The project is expected to be set up on the lines units installed by the UK-based Vedanta group in Orissa, but will use better technology, the GMDC official said.
The project will be set up in two phases. In the first phase, Nalco will invest Rs 4,400 crore in an alumina plant with a capacity of 10 lakh tonnes per annum. The remaining investment will come in the second phase that will also see setting up of a five lakh per annum capacity smelter plant. GMDC will supply 30 lakh tonnes of bauxite sourced from Gadshisa and surrounding mines in Kutch to Nalco. In addition to the price of bauxite, GMDC will also get a 26% share from the profit, earned by Nalco from the sale of the final product.
"Till now bauxite mined from Gujarat was sold to buyers outside the state. Now, the mineral will stay in the state and generate employment through value-addition," said GMDC mnaging director VS Gadhvi.
Kutch has 63 million tonnes of non-plant grade bauxite reserves. GMDC has reserves of plant grade and non plant Bauxite at Gadhsisa in Kutch and Kalyanpur in Jamnagar (Saurashtra region). While Gadhsisa has a potential of mining one million TPA Bauxite, Kalyanpur has a capacity of 1.25 million TPA. Plant grade bauxite is used in refractories and chemical industries, while non plant grade bauxite is exported.
Bauxite miner and exporter Ashapura Minechem had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with GMDC for the plant but did not execute it. Fresh EoIs were then invited. Companies who had expressed interest include US-based AluChem Inc, Russia-based UC RUSAL, Dubai-based Dubai Aluminium Limited (DUBAL), and Indian companies like Adani Enterprise, Aditya Birla group, NALCO, JSW steel and Jaiprakash Industries.
The proposals were examined by Nagpur-based Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre of the Government of India. After a comparative analysis, NALCO was selected for the project.

India’s Nalco likely to secure new bauxite reserves

Creamer Media's Mining Weekly - June 4th, 2012

After waiting some 20 years, India’s largest integrated aluminium refiner, the National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco), was likely to gain access to the 75-million tons of bauxite reserve at Pottangi, in Orissa.
In a communication with the company, the government of Orissa indicated that it had agreed, in principle, to earmark the Pottangi bauxite reserves for Nalco subject to the company agreeing to certain conditions, including the development of the peripheral areas and payment of water cess to the government.
Gaining access to the Pottangi reserves was critical for Nalco’s $1.17-billion third-phase expansion, which had been put on hold for failing to secure new bauxite reserves.
Nalco produces 345 000 t/y of aluminium linked to the 310-million-ton bauxite reserves at Panchpatmali Hills in Koraput district.
This reserve was expected to last for another ten years and any expansion of the company’s metal production capacity would have to be linked to new reserves, senior officials said.
The Orissa government, which played host to around 55% of India’s 3.2-billion-ton bauxite reserve, has informed the company that it was ready to restart allocation of the Pottangi reserves to the Indian government but Nalco would first have to settle its disputes over payment of water cess to the government.
The company had moved the courts against the state government’s imposition of water cess.
The failure to secure bauxite reserves in Orissa, where all of Nalco’s mines, smelters and captive power plants were located, has prompted the company to tie up with Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited (GMDC).
The collaboration proposed to set up a 500 000 t/y smelter and a one-million-ton-a-year alumina refining facility in the western Indian province of Gujarat linked to the 63-million-ton non-plant-grade bauxite reserves in the nearby Kutch region in the province.
However, Gujarat government which controls GMDC, was yet to take a final decision on whether the company should enter into an agreement to float a joint venture company with Nalco through equity participation or limit its participation in the aluminium project to just a long-term supply agreement for bauxite.
The Gujarat government, last year imposed a ban on shipment of bauxite beyond the state borders.

Seeney excises smelter from bauxite tender

The Australian - June 4th, 2012

THE Queensland government will make yet another attempt to develop bauxite deposits at Aurukun on Cape York, but without the requirement for an aluminium smelter to value-add to the raw material.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Aurukun leases would be put out to international tender within the next few months.
However, the condition put down by the Bligh government for a factory to transform the bauxite into alumina or aluminium had been shown by the market not to be viable.
While successive governments have encouraged value-adding to bauxite from Weipa by having a factory at Gladstone to smelt it into a finished product, Mr Seeney said high electricity prices meant that was becoming more difficult.
"Even before the carbon tax we had the market telling us that having a smelter was impossible, but with a carbon tax it's doubly impossible," he said. "This is a marked departure from the approach of the previous government.
The whole process of having a smelter has been shown not to be viable, and we accept that it's not, and so we'll put them back on the market so the people of Queensland will at least get some return on them."
These bauxite leases have a long history, starting in 1975 when the Bjelke-Petersen government awarded them to a company that was then on-sold so that the leases finished up with French company Pechiney in 2003.
At that stage, then premier Peter Beattie cancelled the leases and called for expressions of interest in developing the deposits, with the successful tenderer CHALCO (Aluminum Corporation of China Limited), which was fully owned by Beijing.
CHALCO examined the possibility of building a refinery at Bowen near the coal port of Abbot Point, but were unable to make the project viable and last June the government cancelled the leases and then premier Anna Bligh said the leases would be put on the market again.

Alumina prices surge on bauxite tariff

People's Daily Online - June 3rd, 2012

The ex-factory price of alumina from Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO),China's largest producer of the metal, rose to 2,900 yuan ($455.33) per ton Friday, up 3.6 percent compared with the previous day.
The company claims that its bauxite supplies have been affected by Indonesian policies, which are behind the recent price spike. Since May, Indonesia has been raising export tariffs on mineral products, including bauxite, a key component for alumina.
In response, CHALCO will likely cut alumina output by 15 percent this year compared with 2011.
Five of China's largest alumina makers, including CHALCO, have proposed an initiative for the whole industry to cut output by 10 percent to stale the market.

Aurukun bauxite lease up for grabs

Ninemsn - June 3rd, 2012

The lease for the Aurukun bauxite mine will be put on the market again but this time around the successful bidder won't have to build a new refinery.
The tender for the new bauxite mine and alumina refinery had been won by Chinese company Chalco in 2007, but the deal folded in July 2011 because Chalco was unable to build the refinery.
It's the second time the lease has folded.
The original bauxite lease was issued to French mining company Pechiney in 1975 by the Bjelke-Petersen government but for the next 28 years it remained dormant.
Deputy premier Jeff Seeney said on Tuesday that this time around the LNP government would take a fresh approach.
"The conditions of establishing a refinery simply will not work," Mr Seeney said in a statement.
"It was tried and failed, and with the looming carbon tax and skyrocketing electricity prices, its impossible to see how a new refinery will ever be possible in Australia again."
He will take a new strategy to cabinet over the next couple of months and the leases will be put on the market in the near future.

Ma'aden Alcoa Joint Venture Achieves Significant Safety Milestone

Business Wire - June 1st, 2012

Alcoa AA -0.35% and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Ma'aden have recorded a major safety milestone during construction of their aluminum smelter at Ras Al Khair, in Saudi Arabia: 25 million hours worked without a lost work day injury.
Part of the fully integrated aluminum complex being developed jointly by Ma'aden and Alcoa, the 740,000-metric-ton-per-year smelter is scheduled for completion in 2013.
The lost work day accomplishment was achieved by 39 construction companies employing a diverse multinational workforce that speaks more than 15 languages and represents upwards of 25 countries and cultures.
The number of workers including contractors grew from less than 200 to approximately 12,400 during this period.
"Achieving this remarkable safety performance on such a large and complex project requires team work, training and focus," said Ken Wisnoski, Vice President, Alcoa and President Global Primary Products Growth.
"While we are proud of this achievement, we know we cannot relax. Safety requires constant vigilance."
Engineer Abdullah Busfar, Chairman of Ma'aden Aluminium Company, said, "This is safety performance in keeping with the world-class facility we are building at Ras Al Khair.
There are many challenges to overcome to achieve an injury-free workplace in a project of this size, but we have the right people, focused on doing the right things, and the teams constructing the smelter are to be commended for achieving this milestone".
About the Ma'aden Alcoa joint venture In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex which will become the world's preeminent and lowest-cost supplier of primary aluminum, alumina and aluminum products, with access to the growing markets of the Middle East and beyond. The complex comprises:
-- A bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4,000,000 metric tons per year
-- An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1,800,000 metric tons per year
-- An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 metric tons per year
-- A rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year. The mill will be the first in the Middle East capable of producing food grade can sheet, and will be one of the most technically advanced mills in the world.
First commercial production from smelter and mill is scheduled for 2013, followed by first commercial production of alumina from the mine and refinery complex, scheduled for 2014.
Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period.