AluNews

Government hoping for re-opening of Russian funded bauxite company

Observer - November 30th, 2012,

KINGSTON – Jamaica says it is confident that the Russian-owned Alpart bauxite and alumina plant at Nain will re-open soon.
Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell discussions with U C Rusal, the majority share- holders and operators of the plant, are going well.
He said another round of talks is scheduled for the near future.
“We have to get Alpart re-opened, we have to get our bauxite/alumina back to where it was, and we have to get employment going. I have said to the representatives of UC Rusal, what you have there is precious to us, you have good reserves, and we cannot afford to keep the place locked down,” he said.
The parish of St. Elizabeth has been affected economically, since the closure of the processing plant in 2009 and Paulwell emphasised that before the end of this year, a date and schedule for the re-opening of the plant must be established.
“I have said to them (U C Rusal) that before this year is out, we are going to have to come and tell the people of St. Elizabeth the date and schedule for the re-opening. The good news is that they continue to maintain the plant, even though it is closed,” he said.
Paulwell said that energy generation is playing an important role in the re-opening of the plant, and that as soon as a solution is found to the energy issue, and that is expected by the end of December, then there will be a move to have the plant re-opened for business, which should lead to the generation of employment in the area.

No refinery required: Gov. seeks Aurukun bauxite miners

AJM - November 29th, 2012,

The Queensland LNP Government has taken the first concrete step towards its long-stated aim of exploiting the Aurukun bauxite resource in western Cape York.
This time around, however, the right to mine will not be tied to the requirement to build an alumina refinery.
Yesterday the Newman Government formally opened the Expressions of Interest process for the development rights of the 439mt reserve of in-situ bauxite.
Chalco inked a Development Agreement on 23 March 2007 under the Beattie Government. The proponent eventually vacated its lease, weighed down by the expense of an alumina refinery.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, said development of an Aurukun refinery was pie in the sky.
“The previous government’s botched strategy of wanting to lease the bauxite to a company under the condition it established a refinery or expanded refinery capacity was never going to work.”
Although potential tenderers should note, development of the resource may not be all plain sailing, with land rights unresolved.
“The government will also consult with and seek the endorsement of the Aurukun community and the Traditional Owners for the new tender process,” Seeney said.
Expressions of interest in the Aurukun bauxite resource are required by 15 February, 2013. The Government said it wants to select a preferred proponent by the end of 2013.

Norsk Hydro Capital Markets Day 2012: Creating a global leader

Reuters - November 29th, 2012,

Hydro is focusing its Capital Markets Day 2012 on the improvement efforts being made throughout the company, aiming to create a global leader in aluminium. Hydro is expecting world aluminium demand outside China of 2-4% in 2013 and solid global long-term growth of 4-6% annually over the next 10 years.
In its value proposition, Hydro's targets are to:
Deliver on ambitious improvement efforts along the value chain to improve relative industry position
Capitalize on raw material positions through internal improvements and commercialization of bauxite and alumina markets
Maintain financial strength and flexibility to mitigate weak and volatile markets
Ensure competitive shareholder return with the ambition to maintain absolute dividend level for 2012
"Hydro has delivered significant improvements, portfolio restructuring and transforming transactions in the five years since becoming a streamlined aluminium company, shaping Hydro into a company rich in both resources and opportunities and with strong positions throughout the value chain," says President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
In response to the uncertain economic environment, Hydro is presenting significant improvement efforts in all business areas. The USD 300 per tonne improvement program in Primary Metal, launched in 2009, is developing in line with the 2013 completion target. Improvement efforts are also in place in all joint venture smelters to improve operations and cost positions of Hydro's part-owned smelters, now accounting for more than half of Hydro's primary aluminium production.
In Bauxite & Alumina, the recently launched "From B to A" improvement program is aiming at annual improvements of NOK 1 billion, while the ambitious improvement program in Extruded Products is continuing with full force, even after the announcement of the planned Sapa joint venture.
"It is encouraging to see the operational improvements now gaining momentum in Bauxite & Alumina, with Paragominas showing a production increase of around 40 percent since our takeover in March 2011. While LME-linked contracts and rising costs on raw materials are putting pressure on earnings, the 'From B to A' program will further improve operations and strengthen the relative position of Bauxite & Alumina," says President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
Qatalum, the 50/50 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro, is producing above its annual nameplate capacity of 585,000 tonnes. Qatalum is a state-of-the-art smelter located in a logistically advantageous region. The smelter is in a first-quartile position, with a cash cost of USD 1,450-1,500 with today's market conditions.
The current high levels of macroeconomic uncertainty and a multi-speed world economy are weighing on consumer sentiment, which in turn has led to weaker aluminium prices and softer end-user markets. Still, Hydro maintains its view that the long-term outlook for aluminium remains positive due to its strong capabilities.
World aluminum demand outside China is estimated to grow 2% in 2012 and 2-4% in 2013. Aluminium fundamentals remain promising due to the metal's many positive qualities, including its light weight and recyclability, and the global aluminium market is expected to show solid long-term growth of 4-6% annually over the next 10 years.
"Although aluminium has seen the fastest-growing demand among base metals, we have also seen a strong growth in new capacity, resulting in low prices and inadequate returns. Ensuring competitive shareholder return is important for Hydro, also in times of weak and uncertain markets. Based on what we see today, our ambition is to maintain the absolute dividend level for 2012," says Brandtzæg.

Alba upgrade to improve productivity

AMEinfo.com - November 28th, 2012,

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C (Alba)'s pledge to continue strengthening its credentials as an environmentally friendly and energy efficient aluminium producer was bolstered with the recent upgrade of Pot Line5 from AP30 to AP36 technology.
The upgrade was made possible with the successful installation of the first 1600 mm long anode in Pot Line 5 - a significant breakthrough that's geared to place Alba amongst the leaders in pot line current and productivity through effective deployment of advanced AP3X smelting technology.
Alba's production process will receive further boost with additional modifications from the reduction side on anode reference gauges, PTA shovel size, simulations on start-up pots, studies on wench motors, etc.
Commenting on the upgrade from AP30 to AP36 technology on Pot Line 5, Alba's Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al-Ansari said, "Alba as a company has always prided itself on being at the forefront of promoting clean technology, reinforcing green initiatives in production, and also ensuring that goals for reducing emissions and energy consumption are articulated with clear action plans. The new installation of the first 1600 mm long anode is a step in the right direction and will pave the way to upgrade Pot line 5 from AP30 to AP36 technology. The support of the Carbon and Reduction team was crucial and I like to thank them for their hard work. As a result of this upgrade, we will soon increase the current in Pot Line 5, which will push production to new benchmarks and contribute towards Alba's expansion."
When it commenced operations in 2005, Alba's Pot Line 5 set new world records for the fastest and safest start-up of a reduction line - 77 days without a single loss time injury (LTI). Utilising advanced AP technology, it is also one of the world's longest reduction lines.

Vietnam Vinacomin commissions country's first alumina refinery

Platts - November 28th, 2012,

Vietnam's Vinacomin has commissioned this week the country's first alumina refinery, a company source said Wednesday.
The 600,000 mt/year Tan Rai plant in Lam Dong province was originally scheduled to start trial runs in September, but was delayed due to power supply issues.
"We've commissioned the plant on Monday and if everything runs smoothly, we should see actual output at end-December," the source said.
Vinacomin plans to produce about 300,000 mt of alumina from the new refinery in 2013, and further ramp up to full capacity by 2014-2015. All of the plant's output is to be exported. Marubeni of Japan has agreed to market about 150,000 mt/year of the plant's alumina in a multi-year contract. Vinacomin also plans to ink yearly contracts with other customers, and is hoping its material will find outlets in China, Malaysia and the Middle East, another company source had said in an earlier Platts report.
The alumina exports will be made via the Go Dau river port in Dong Nai province, switching after 2015 to the yet-to-be-constructed Ke Ga deepwater port in Binh Thuan province.
The refinery will be backward integrated, supported by Vinacomin's local bauxite mine. The refinery's EPC contractor is Chalieco, the engineering arm of China's Chalco.

FAC may decide on forest clearance for Nalco mine by next week

Business Standard - November 27th, 2012,

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), an expert panel of Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF), is expected to take a call by next week on granting fresh forest clearance to the Panchpatmalli bauxite mines of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) to enable the company secure temporary work permit (TWP) to operate the mine.
TWP is essential to resume mining operation by the company which has stopped bauxite excavation following expiry of the term of the mining lease on November 16. Halt of operation at Panchpatmalli mines has raised concerns on bauxite availability for Nalco's alumina refinery at Damanjodi in Koraput district.
Nalco’s chairman and managing director Anshuman Das had said recently that the company has built up a stock of about 2,50,000 tonne of bauxite. It needs about 13,000 tonne bauxite per day to run the refinery at the present rate of alumina output (about 4,500 tonne per day), which is 70 percent of the full capacity.
The company had stated last week that it was equipped to meet the need of alumina for its aluminium smelter and export commitments at the present rate of production and stock of bauxite at disposal for three weeks.
The North-Central block of the Panchpatmali mine with deposits of around 300 million tonne, is spread over an area of 1,315 hectares (ha), out of which 1,294 ha falls under forest land. Nalco needs the nod of MoEF before the mining lease can be renewed.

Saudi power project faces 10-month delay

Trade Arabia - November 27th, 2012,

Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) expects the start up of a new power plant at Ras Al Khair to be delayed until late 2013, the head of the utility said, which may affect production at a new aluminium smelter relying on it.
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) expects to begin production at the aluminium smelter it shares with US-based Alcoa in December.
The smelter is supposed to be supplied by the new 2,400-megawatt (MW) power plant which was expected to have started production by now.
"First production of electricity was supposed to be in October 2012... We are anticipating a 10-month delay," the head of SWCC Abdulrahman Mohammed al-Ibrahim said on Monday.
"To overcome this delay SWCC has taken the responsibility to provide power to the grid in excess of 450 MW to meet client demand," he said.
Saudi Arabia's Al Arrab Contracting Co and China's Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corp are building the power plant on the Gulf coast.
Neither contractor was available for comment.
Maaden said it expects the new power plant setback to delay full production capacity being reached at its new smelter nearby.
"The (power) project halt may cause shortage in the supply of electricity required by the Maaden Aluminum Company (MAC) at Ras Al Khair," the company said in a stock market statement.
"The impact on the project will lead to a slowdown in scheduled ramp up to reach the designed capacity of the aluminum smelter."
Other parts of the project, including a seawater desalination plant, remain on schedule, Ibrahim said.
The Ras Al Khair complex will be able to remove salt from over 1 million cubic metres of water a day, which will be distributed by SWCC.
Maaden has rights over 1,350 MW of the power plant's capacity and the other 1,050 MW has been allocated to Saudi Electricity Co (SEC).

Novelis starts construction of aluminium plant in Germany

Waste Management World - November 27th, 2012,

Novelis has started construction of an aluminium recycling and casting centre at its plant in Nachterstedt (Germany), according to a company press release.
The company is investing USD250 million in the plant, which will be built adjacent to the company's existing aluminium rolling mill.
With the help of a new centre, the company will be able to produce 400,000 metric tonnes of aluminium sheet ingot from recycled material on an annual basis.
Novelis expects the centre to create 200 jobs when it starts operations in mid-2014.

Vedanta hoping to get bauxite for its refinery

Business Line - November 24th, 2012,

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) today said it is hopeful of getting some quantity of bauxite to run its refinery in Kalahandi district.
“The state government is taking steps to arrange bauxite and we are doing it in our level. We hope to arrange some bauxite for the purpose,” Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Vedanta said.
He said the company was optimistic of getting certain quantity of bauxite from outside the state in next two to three days.
Kumar’s statement came after Vedanta’s top brass including Managing Director S K Rungta and CEO P Suri met Chief Secretary B K Patnaik at the secretariat this evening.
The aluminium major had earlier served a notice to shut down its refinery at Lanjigarh from December 5 due to lack of bauxite. The notice was given to the state government with a request to facilitate bauxite supply to the refinery as per the provision of the MoU.
While the company was yet to decide on whether to go for temporary closure of the refinery from December 5, a senior official said the date could be extended if certain amount of raw material was arranged before the deadline.
Meanwhile, sources said that though the state government could not immediately give any bauxite to Vedanta, it is exploring several options to ensure supply of raw materials to the company.
While the Lanjigarh refinery was likely to go for a temporary closure, the company had requested Nalco to supply alumina for operation of the company’s smelter at Jharsuguda.
Nalco was yet to respond to the Vedanta’s request.
The senior company officials met the Chief Secretary here barely within a month of Vedanta Group Chief Anil Agarwal meeting the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

China to add 10mn tonnes aluminum capacity

Equities.com - November 23rd, 2012,

CHINA'S aluminum industry will produce around 10 million tonnes of new aluminium capacity despite global cost curve and is forced to import most of its raw materials for the industry.
These remarks were made at the 16th Arabal Conference by AZ China Limited's Managing Director, Paul Adkins, in Doha, on Thursday. He was speaking at a panel discussion on the subject, 'What would the aluminum policy in China be for 2012- 2013.' "It's not safe to talk about averages when comparing 130 smelters with cost structures that vary by up to 33 percent.
He said government subsidies are taking as much as $200 per tonne of the production cost and AZ China estimates that around 25-30 percent of China's production is presently receiving some form of government assistance.
"Government subsidises a local industry in order to protect jobs and to maintain a level of social order but these subsidies have been virtually wiped out by the market, which dropped RMB500 as soon as the news leaked out," he said.
Paul wants China to take the advice of Alcoa and other firms to increase imports. "Why do they continue to add capacity at breathtaking rates," he argued.
Paul further added that the cost curve of the aluminum industry in China will result in consumption of scarce energy resources and also jeopardise environmental integrity.
Commenting on China's move to shift aluminum production to energy-rich western areas, Paul said this won't solve the industry's problems with high costs and pollution.

Rio Tinto Alcan - Commonwealth EIS for South of Embley Project released

Equities.com - November 23rd, 2012,

Release date- 21112012 - Rio Tinto Alcan today released the draft Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement for the South of Embley Project. Rio Tinto Alcan president and chief executive officer, Bauxite and Alumina, Pat Fiore said the project will extend bauxite mining operations on an area of the company's existing Weipa mining lease, thereby continuing to generate employment and economic benefits on the Western Cape for another 40 years.
'The EIS comprehensively describes the potential social, economic and environmental impacts associated with the project and outlines how we can sustainably develop our existing bauxite resources while safeguarding the Cape and the Great Barrier Reef,' Mr Fiore said. Mr Fiore said Rio Tinto Alcan has responded to a direction of the Commonwealth Environment Minister to assess shipping through the Great Barrier Reef as part of the Project's EIS.
'The Project does not substantially change the number of ships traversing the Reef and the EIS shows that potential impacts on the environment can be managed,' Mr Fiore said. 'We have been mining bauxite on the Cape - and shipping it safely through dedicated shipping lanes to Gladstone - for almost half a century.
'The strict measures that are used for existing Weipa bauxite shipping activities, such as piloting for ships, would continue to be used for Project-related shipping.' The Queensland Co-ordinator-General approved the Project in May this year. Mr Fiore said the $1 billion-plus Project will underpin the continued operation of Rio Tinto Alcan's refinery operations in Gladstone, supporting the $2.5 billion expansion of Yarwun, as well as grow bauxite export capability.
'The South of Embley Project will further strengthen the economic, cultural and social ties between Gladstone and Western Cape York Peninsula,' he said. The current Weipa operations employ more than 275 Indigenous employees, representing more than 25 per cent of the workforce. 'We are working closely with Traditional Owners to ensure the prosperity resulting from mining activities on the Western Cape continues to be shared,' Mr Fiore said.
Members of the community are invited to review and comment on the EIS from Thursday 22 November to Wednesday 19 December 2012. The EIS will be on display in Weipa, Napranum, Aurukun, Mapoon, Bamaga, Cooktown, Cairns, Gladstone, Brisbane and Canberra and will also be made available on the Rio Tinto Alcan website.
Rio Tinto Alcan will also hold a series of information sessions on the Western Cape to present details about the project and the EIS findings. Community members can contact the project team via the freecall number 1800 308 938 or email external.affairs@riotinto.com with any specific questions or concerns.
An average of 950 workers will be required for construction. During operations, South of Embley workforce numbers would range from 550 to 1350 depending on production.

Indopura, Chinese Firm Plan Bauxite Smelter

Jakarta Globe - November 22nd, 2012,

Local miner Indopura Resources joined forces with Chinese miner Hainan Joint Enterprise Business Service to build a bauxite smelter at a cost of about $700 million.
Indopura has putting together plans for the smelter and creating construction designs, which are expected to completed next year.
“The construction is expected to start in 2014,” Arief said.
The ore bauxite, Arief said, will be from Ketapang, West Kalimantan, from a 27,000-hectare mining area owned by local miner Laman Mining.
“We need 5,000 workers and needs land space of 160 to 170 hectares for the construction of the plant,” Arief said.
The Indonesian government has instituted a policy to tighten the exports of ore minerals as it seeks to increase the value of its natural resources by processing them locally. Mining accounted for only 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2011.
The government issued a ministerial decree that bans exports of some raw minerals, including bauxite and tin.

Qatalum says to focus on boosting capacity

Gulf Times - November 22nd, 2012,

Qatalum, an equal joint venture between Norway’s Hydro Aluminium and Qatar Petroleum, yesterday ruled out direct involvement in downstream industries but said its focus will be on capacity enhancement.
“We are committed to supporting and offering all kind of assistance in establishing downstream industries. But we will not be directly involved,” Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen told the 16th Arab International Aluminium (Arabal) conference.
Assuring proactive support to downstream industries, Johansen said Qatalum produces high quality products that could be utilised by the downstream industry.
He said the market for the downstream is there and the government of Qatar is encouraging the downstream industry in the country to utilise Qatalum products.
“As we believe that there should be no limits to industry and no borders to markets, we are targeting all accessible markets, while special attention in the coming period will be paid to industries that depend on the outputs of the aluminium industry,” according to Qatalum chairman Abdulrahman Ahmed al-Shaibi.
After oil and petrochemicals, he said the aluminium industry has become one of the essential manufacturing industries on which the economic strategy was determined. “Aluminium has a reasonable role in supporting and developing the industrial sector and forms a basis for midstream and downstream industries locally and globally,” he added.
Within Qatalum, al-Shaibi said, it is determined to increase the feasible investments directed towards developing and expanding the smelter and to establish many new projects related to primary production.
This determination would only be in line with the potential growth and expansion of the industry through increasing demand for aluminium, he said. “We are determined to enhance our presence in global markets by taking proactive measures in opening new markets through the continuous application of global standards and qualifications for our high quality products,” al-Shaibi said, adding “this provides us with an advantage when meeting competition and coping with price volatility as well as supply and demand trends.”
The industrial sector in Qatar is moving on the right track, supported by incentives and industrial benefits that aim to encourage investment and to focus on projects that are based on best available technology, according to him.
Finding that the energy sector represents massive opportunities for industrial investment in the country, al-Shaibi said Qatalum has been able to put in place modern infrastructure to serve the national industries and to meet the current demands and future challenges.
“We have managed to increase the industrial sector’s share of national GDP (gross domestic product) and to encourage the private sector to increase its contribution to industrial development, ultimately increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP and achieving the highest level of integration between the different industrial sectors operating in the country,” al-Shaibi said.

Production of aluminium to grow by 10pc

The Peninsula - November 22nd, 2012,

DOHA - Despite economic downturn in major aluminium consuming countries the production of the metal will continue to grow at a rate of eight to 10 percent, Chairman of the Qatar Aluminum Company (Qatalum) said yesterday.
“We believe that aluminium will be the best alternative metal that would find its use in many more industries globally. And keeping in view the trends of aluminium production that we have seen between 2010 and 2011, which was between 8 and 10 percent, we expect that the same trend will continue” Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Shaibi told The Peninsula on the sidelines of an ongoing Arab Aluminum Conference, ARABAL 2012.
Asked about the source industry of demand, he said: “This is a very complex question as we see depression in most of the consuming nations but we still expect that aluminium will affect many industries around the globe. If there is any growth opportunity it will be for the aluminium industry”, he added.
Notably, since the beginning of the economic crisis the primary production of aluminium in Europe has decreased by about 25 percent due to low demand and higher energy prices pushing many European smelters to shutdown. However, experts say the demand for the light and strong metal will witness growth in 2013, and automotive and packaging industries will be the big drivers for this growth.
ARABAL 2012, which formally opened yesterday is discussing regional issues, power generation and technology. After a pre-conference day which included a workshop on the London Metal Exchange, the morning began with opening addresses to the plenary session by Mohammad Ali Al Naqi, ARABAL Chairman; Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, – presented on his behalf by Al Shaibi – who also spoke as Qatalum Chairman, and Svein Richard, Hydro Aluminium President and CEO.
“We do not expect low prices to last; unlike many other metals, growth in aluminum demand is positive and we expect it to continue”. Al Shaibi expects prices to follow bullish forecasts in demand.
Dr Al Sada, through Al Shaibi, praised ARABAL as an “extraordinary opportunity for gauging the pulse of the industry and its developments across the globe”. Worldwide, he argued, aluminium industry is in a state of restructuring. Economic downslide in Europe coupled with escalating power tariffs, lack of local resources, taxation and tightening of ecological regulations have already resulted in the shutdown number of European aluminium production facilities.
“We are seeing a spate of evolution and consolidation within the industry. The focus of the aluminium sector is steadily shifting, often away from those who were considered the traditional leaders. Middle-Eastern manufacturers are now increasingly emerging as serious contenders in the global aluminum market”.
Svein Richard of Hydro Aluminum – whose joint venture with Qatar Petroleum spawned Qatalum – gave a comprehensive presentation, outlining Qatalum’s strategic position in the global supply chain, and spoke of ‘infinite aluminum’ through strong increase in demand and recycling innovations.
Al Naqi, Chairman of the ARABAL Organising Committee added: “Today, as we celebrate the sixteenth version of ARABAL 2012 here, the region has seven smelters of primary aluminium with production capacity of up to 15 percent of global production along with the other supporting projects such as calcined coal and projects that depend on smelters’ products such as aluminium extrusion, cables and car wheels factories which supply global automotive companies.

From 1 lakh tonnes to 7 lakh tonnes...Balco plans to ramp up output

Business Line - November 21st, 2012,

NAYA RAIPUR - Vedanta Resources today said the company plans to increase the capacity of its Balco facility to 7 lakh tonnes per annum from one lakh tonnes per annum soon.
“When we took over BALCO it was producing one lakh tonnes per annum of aluminium... We are taking it to 7 lakh tonnes per annum as quickly as possible,” Anil Aggarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources said here.
The company is willing to pick up 10 per cent stake in any aluminium facility which would process the aluminium produced at Balco.
“We can pick up to 10 per cent stake,” Aggarwal said.
On the Balco open offer, he said, “The Government is saying they are going for e-auction, if it is suitable, we would accommodate it.”
The company is also expanding the capacity of its 1200 MW power plant, to feed the aluminium unit, to 2000 MW.
“The State government has done everything to speed up the entire process, we would add 800 MW to that unit soon,” he added.
Meanwhile, the company’s refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha, which was temporarily shutdown on October 13, has opened and re-started operations as it has procured bauxite from Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.
The company now has a stock of about 40,000 tonnes of bauxite.
The company will receive 90,000 tonnes of bauxite from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC).

UC Rusal raises aluminium industry challenges at Arabal in Doha

AMEinfo.com - November 21st, 2012,

Oleg Mukhamedshin, Deputy CEO of UC Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, spoke at the 16th Arab International Aluminium Conference (Arabal) highlighting some of the key issues and opportunities in the global aluminium industry.
Despite a steady increase in global aluminium consumption, low aluminium prices on the LME continue to hit the industry, exposing risks and imbalances. According to Rusal's estimates, based on actual cash costs, between 20 and 30% of aluminium ex-China capacity is currently unprofitable, depending on the premium level. In China, this situation appears magnified, with almost one third of capacity under water at today's price levels.
In this context, the Middle East's recent growth to become a major aluminium producer is significant, offering opportunities, but with some challenges. The region has grown to an impressive 7.7% of global production in 2011 after a decade of investment and is projected to reach 8% by 2015. Yet, while the aluminium consumption in the region is due to grow by 7.7% p.a. between 2012 and 2016, production is estimated to grow at 8.6% p.a. producing an increasing surplus, which, according to Rusal's estimates, will reach more than 3.0 million tonnes by 2016. Suppressed aluminium LME prices, increased prices for natural gas and restricted bauxite and alumina resources are the major challenges GCC producers will have to tackle to secure their future prosperity.
According to Mr Mukhamedshin, large bauxite reserves and spare alumina capacity could make UC Rusal a partner of choice for GCC producers as they seek to address the challenge of cost-effective supply of raw materials to underpin their production growth.
"Overall, the world needs a competitive market for aluminium where prices are kept at reasonable levels for consumers by competition and efficiency and where competition pushes us towards new energy-efficient technologies. An open dialogue is critical for future health of the sector. Arabal 2012 is an important initiative from the Gulf Aluminium Council and I welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can work together in future to realise the potential of the global industry," he added.

China investor to build bauxite refinery in Batam

The Jakarta Post - November 21st, 2012,

The Hainan Joint Enterprise Business Service Co. Ltd. and its Indonesian partner company, PT Indopura Resources, plan to construct a bauxite refinery worth US$700 million in Batam, Riau Islands.
The factory is expected to employ 5,000 workers.
PT Indopura Resources director Cedric Lam, its managing director Arief Winata and Hainan Joint Enterprise managing director Xi Cheng Xian said in a press conference on Wednesday that the factory was scheduled to begin operating in 2014.
According to Arief, the construction of the factory will take one year to complete. “The land is available for the construction of the refinery,” he said.
“We chose Batam because the city has a sufficient electricity supply and clean water,” he added.
The refinery is expected to distill 2.7 metric tons of bauxite into alumina every year. Arief said the export value of alumina could be five times higher than the raw bauxite.
“We are aiming to export it to China. But, there are alternative opportunities for the alumina to be exported to other countries,” Arief said.

German aluminum output dips 1.5% Jan-Sep, no recovery in Q4: GDA

Platts - November 21st, 2012,

Germany posted a 1.5% decline in total raw aluminum production to 790,854 mt in January-September 2012, according to a report Tuesday by GDA, the federation of the aluminium producing and processing industry in Germany.
Almost all areas of the aluminum industry were affected, the GDA said, and the association blamed the downturn on the "weak general economic situation and the high level of production in the previous year."
While it is "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects for the German aluminium industry, the GDA saw no "fundamental improvement" in sight for the final quarter of 2012 but stressed that "the economic situation in Germany remains positive."
Output at primary aluminum smelters dropped to 305,992 mt, down by 5.6% on year, the GDA said.
In contrast, Germany's raw aluminium production in Q3 was almost at the same level as in the previous quarter: "The situation thus stabilised in the autumn," said GDA executive director Christian Wellner.

Maaden to start production at aluminium smelter

Gulfnews.com - November 21st, 2012,

Jeddah - Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) will start initial production at its aluminium smelter next month. Maaden and Alcoa teamed up in 2009 to build a $10.8 billion (Dh39.6 billion) aluminium complex at Ras Al Khair on the Gulf coast, which is fast becoming a Saudi mining centre.
The smelter will have a capacity of 740,000 tonnes per year and production will be ramped up gradually to that level, Maaden said on Wednesday. In addition, the partners are developing a bauxite mine with the capacity to produce 4 million tonnes of the raw material for the plant a year, and a metal rolling mill with a capacity of up to 460,000 tonnes.
The first phase of the project, which includes the smelter and the rolling mill, should be running by 2013, while the mine and a refinery are expected to open in 2014, executives from the two companies have said.

Alba backs aluminium forum

Gulf Daily News - November 20th, 2012,

MANAMA - Alba's pledge to strengthen the region's status as a fast emerging hub for aluminium production was bolstered with its sponsorship support for a major conference.
The 16th International Arab Aluminium Conference and Exhibition (Arabal 2012) is being held from today until Thursday in Doha.
Alba's chief executive Tim Murray will join chief executives of other Middle East smelters during a panel discussion on the future prospects of the aluminium industry in the Middle East and changes that will shape the future of the smelters in the region.
Alba was represented in Arabal's steering committee by manager for sales GCC and the Middle East Abdul Aziz Daylami.
"As the first aluminium smelter in the Middle East, Alba is proud to support any initiative that increases global recognition for the region as a fast emerging hub for aluminium production," said Alba chief marketing officer Baptiste Lucas.
"With smelters reducing capacity or closing down in many parts of the world, the Middle East continues to demonstrate a positive trend with production on the upswing, along with announcements of new smelters being launched.
"Alba is proud of its association with Arabal," Mr Lucas said.
"Alba is confident that it will play a key role in raising the region's profile on the international stage," he added.
An exhibition is also being organised on the sidelines of the conference.
As one of the exhibitors, Alba will be setting up a dedicated stand to showcase its portfolio of aluminium products, quality-focused production process and environmentally friendly and safety conscious operations.

Reef approval delays bauxite project a year

The Australian - November 20th, 2012,

FIRST bauxite from Rio Tinto's $1.4 billion South of Embley project near Weipa has been delayed by a year after federal Environment Minister Tony Burke sent the approvals process back to square one because of concerns over shipping through the Great Barrier Reef.
Rio will release its environmental impact statement today, eight months after Mr Burke surprised the miner by expanding the terms of reference of the study to include the impact of shipping on the reef.
Rio says it will target starting construction next year, with first bauxite shipments in 2016, back from a previous target of 2015.
The South of Embley project will produce up to 50 million tonnes of bauxite a year from an area 40km south of Weipa, most of which will be exported to Asia. But some bauxite will be shipped around Cape York Peninsula and down the Queensland coast to Gladstone, which sparked concerns by the Wilderness Society and prompted Mr Burke's demand for increased studies.
In the EIS, Rio says that when South of Embley is operating at full capacity, it will account for an extra 60 ship movements each year through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
This would account for 0.4 per cent of the 14,455 movements expected in the park in 2020.
"The project does not substantially change the number of ships traversing the reef and the EIS shows that potential impacts on the environment can be managed," Rio Tinto Alcan chief executive, bauxite and alumina, Pat Fiore said. "We have been mining bauxite on the Cape and shipping it safely through dedicated shipping lanes to Gladstone for almost half a century."
In May, the Queensland government approved what had been a joint federal-state approvals process, until Mr Burke added extra conditions.
The extra bauxite that will be shipped to Gladstone will help feed a $2.5bn expansion of the Yarwun alumina refinery there that was completed this year.
South of Embley will require about 950 workers for construction, while operating workforce numbers will range from 550 to 1350 depending on production.
At first, output from South of Embley will probably be about 22.5 million tonnes a year.
The volumes will not all be extra for Rio. The project is designed to take up the slack as reserves at the current Weipa operations are depleted.

Habanero Resources Inc.: Grand-Vallee North Drill Program Now Underway

Stockhouse - November 20th, 2012,

VANCOUVER - Habanero Resources Inc. ("Habanero", "HAO" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:HAO)(PINKSHEETS:HBNRF)(FRANKFURT:HRJ) wishes to announce commencement of the 2012 diamond drill program its Grand-Vallée North Aluminous Clay Prospect (the "Property"), Gaspe, Quebec. Drilling will consist of approximately 800 metres, 8-hole drill program designed to test three of the highest priority aluminium in soil geochemical anomalies defined during the summer and fall 2012 exploration.
A series of 3 holes, totalling approximately 300 metres have been tentatively assigned to test each of the 1st and 2nd high-priority anomalies; while 2 holes, totalling 200 metres have been allocated to the 3rd high-priority anomaly. At the 1st high-priority drill target, intermittent outcrops of red claystones are exposed in road cuts over a 140 metre east-west trending zone where four 2011 rock grab samples returned analyses up to 22.99% Al2O3(announced March 1, 2012).
Jason Gigliotti, President of Habanero stated, "We are excited to be now underway on the drill program at Grand-Vallée North. We have been building up to this point for over a year and have had encouraging sampling to now establish the highest priority drill targets. Habanero has had returns as high as 22.99% Al2O3 achieved, and when you consider that Orbite's Deposit directly bordering to the south uses a grade of 18% Al2O3 for production, the prospect has the potential to impact Habanero development. It has been well over a year since our last drill program and management is optimistic about how this drill program may impact Habanero's growth in the short and long term."
Work on the Grand-Vallée North Prospect is supervised by Kristopher J. Raffle, P.Geo. (BC) Senior Geologist for APEX Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB, who is the qualified person for the project as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Raffle has reviewed the portion of the technical content of this news release as it relates to the Gaspe Bay Aluminous Clay/Rare Earth Prospect. Exploration crews have established secure geologic logging, and drill core sampling facilities in the nearby community of Grand-Vallée. Drill core from the 2012 diamond drill program will be split using a mechanical core splitter. Samples will be submitted to ALS Minerals, North Vancouver, BC for analysis by whole rock XRF. A quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program is in place, with the insertion of standard, blank and duplicate samples into the sample stream to confirm the accuracy of the reported results.
Habanero is a diversified junior company with the following prospects: the White Gold Prospect in the White Gold Region Yukon, bordering Kinross' Golden Saddle discovery; the Haldane Silver Prospect in the Keno Hill Silver Region of the Yukon bordering Alexco Resources Corp.'s Bellekeno property; the Lezai Multi-Element Prospect located approximately 100 km north of Chibougamau Quebec; and the Grande-Vallée North Aluminous Clay Prospect near Murdochville Quebec, bordering Orbite Aluminae Inc.'s deposit.

Hope to resume bauxite mining in Odisha by Dec first wk: NALCO

Business Standard - November 19th, 2012,

Hopeful of getting the Temporary Working Permit (TWP) to operate its bauxite mines at Panchpatmali in Odisha's Koraput district, Nalco today said the 'Navratna' company would certainly meet all commitments in terms of supply of alumina to refinery and export orders.
"We have stocked sufficient bauxite to run the refinery for at least three weeks. During the period, the company is confident of geting TWP to operate the bauxite mines at Panchapatmali hills, the mining lease of which lapsed on November 16. The company hopes to resume mines operation by first week of December," Nalco CMD Ansuman Das told reporters.
Nalco, which was allocated 4,692 hectare of bauxite reserve at Panchapatmali hills 30 years ago, meanwhile have applied for the TWP after renewal of its mining lease was delyed due to different factors.
Though the Nalco had applied for the renewal of its mining lease on October 2010, the process could not be completed by November 16, 2012. The situation led to halt of mining operation at the north and central blocks of Panchpatmali hills, the Nalco CMD said, adding that he was confident that the company would get the TWP on November 27.
"The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the MoEF is meeting on November 26 which is expected to approve the forest clearance required for issuance of the TWP," Das said.
The Nalco CMD said the Union Environment and Forest Minister Jayanti Natrajan has taken up the matter and issued suitable instructions in this regard.

Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) Progress at Felicitas Bauxite Project

MENAFN.COM - November 18th, 2012,

Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX:BAU) is pleased to provide an update on bauxite resource definition and development activities at its Felicitas project (BRL 30%), in the Companys northern Darling Range tenement area in Western Australian. This follows an update from Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures Pty Ltd (BAJV), managers of the Felicitas Project, which forms part of the joint venture between BRL and Yankuang Resources Pty Ltd (Yankuang).
Following the announcement of an initial 73.3 million tonnes (Mt) bauxite resource at the Felicitas Project in June 2012, BAJV has engaged CSIRO to carry out preliminary bauxite characterisation analysis on all BAJVs northern Darling Range resources. This work has now been completed and the data is being analysed by independent consultants engaged by BAJV. Whilst too early to be definitive, the results viewed to date encourage the Companys positive view of the northern resources and the Felicitas deposit in particular.
In order to identify the extent of the mineralisation potentially available at the Felicitas deposit, a new phase of activity has commenced. A program of work consisting of 6029 holes on a 80x80 metre spacing for a total of 28,662 metres is scheduled from November 2012 to the end of June 2013. This drilling program will cover an area of predominantly cleared farmland of approximately 3,300 hectares with the following aims;
- to test the lateral extension of the Felicitas deposit. The deposit is considered to have further resource growth potential as drilling programs to date have only tested a relatively minor proportion of mapped laterite within exploration licenses E70/3159, E70/3900 and E70/4021;
- to gain samples for density determination and to provide variography data to assist resource modelling. This work is required in order to increase confidence of the JORC resource; and
- to define both a bauxite refinery grade source option and a direct shipping of bauxite option
It is anticipated that this program will include both vacuum and diamond drilling with the areas to be tested as shown in Figure 3 (refer to link below).
The current 73.3 Mt Felicitas bauxite resource is;
- situated on a small number of large private landholdings;
- located approximately 100km north east of Perth being 10km from the town of Wundowie;
- the majority of the resource defined to date is less than 5km from existing rail infrastructure with its closest point within 1km of the existing rail link to Fremantle/Kwinana Port approximately 100km away, and
- the area is bounded to the west by state forest, to the north and east by existing quarry operations, and to the south by farmland.
The Company considers that extension of the Felicitas resource will assist the BAJV in achieving its stated aim of defining a refinery grade bauxite deposit to underpin the prospects of development of a long term alumina refinery for the joint venture. Whilst considerable effort will still be required to achieve this objective the Company is very pleased with the results achieved by the BAJV team thus far.
The Company also notes that portions of this deposit are likely to meet the minimum criteria for DSO bauxite suitable for direct sales to third parties either locally or via export to a growing market in China that has a demonstrated supply deficit. The above program will form an important part of detailed technical and economic studies aimed at defining direct shipping and refinery options for the Felicitas bauxite.

ARABAL 2012 – Middle East meeting point for aluminium industry

Financial - November 16th, 2012,

Hydro will have a strong presence at ARABAL 2012, the most important gathering for the Middle East aluminium industry, set for November 20-22 in Doha, Qatar.
Hydro’s joint venture aluminium company Qatalum is hosting the event, the Arab International Aluminium Conference, and top Hydro representatives will be on hand for presentations and cultural events.
The three-day event kicks off with a tour of the world-class Qatalum aluminium plant, which Hydro owns with the Qatar Petroleum Co.Svein Richard Brandtzæg, Hydro President and CEO, will speak on how to bridge the short-term challenges and the long-term opportunities of aluminium and the industry on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Vietnam receives $300 mln Citi loan for alumina project

Reuters - November 15th, 2012,

Vietnam state mining group Vinacomin has signed a $300 million government-guaranteed loan with a consortium of foreign banks led by Citi Vietnam to fund the nation's first alumina refinery, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The Tan Rai alumina plant - located in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong - has faced a series of delays. Production was initially slated to start in the last quarter of 2011, but behind-schedule construction and incomplete administrative procedures slowed the funding process.
The $460-million alumina plant has a full capacity of 630,000 tonnes a year, Vinacomin, its owner, has said.
Vinacomin, also Vietnam's top coal producer, has been developing the Nhan Co alumina project in the neighbouring province of Dak Nong, with projected initial output of 300,000 tonnes in 2014, which could be raised to 650,000 tonnes by 2016.
The Tan Rai plant has been built by China Aluminum International Engineering Co (Chalieco), a subsidiary of state-owned Aluminum Corp of China, or Chinalco, the country's top aluminium producer.

Indian firms to add aluminium capacity

Business Standard - November 15th, 2012,

Indian aluminium companies have an upper hand compared to its global peers solely because they have captive raw materials such as bauxite and coal.
Hindalco’s 1.5-million-tonne (mt) Utkal alumina refinery project in Odisha and 359-kilo-tonne (kt) Mahan aluminium smelter in Madhya Pradesh will begin commissioning by March-April. The company’s 1.5-mt Aditya alumina refinery and 359-kt smelter project in Odisha will be up and running by mid-2013.
State-owned National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco), too, is in the process of setting up a 1-mt smelter project in Gujarat and a 1.4-mt smelter in Andhra Pradesh, apart from its expansion plans at the flagship Jharsuguda plant in Odisha. Praveen Maheshwari, chief financial officer of Hindalco, said the demand for aluminium in India was still growing faster than the gross domestic product and the newer capacities would definitely find market locally.
“World aluminium consumption has slowed down and is expected to be only eight per cent in 2012 against 15.2 per cent in 2011,” said Debu Bhattacharya, managing director, Hindalco.
He said 30 per cent of the world capacity is making losses and this situation was not sustainable for a long time. An analyst tracking the aluminium sector said: “This is the aluminium cycle. The capacities which cannot make money at current rates will look to shut production. This will make the demand surpass supply and prices will start looking up again.”
In the past couple of years, the world has seen a production cut of nearly 2 mt because of the low LME prices. However, China has been increasing production and that may keep the prices under check.
“The aluminium industry is under unprecedented squeeze,” Bhattacharya said.
According to ICRA, global aluminium consumption during the first half of the current calendar year grew by around three per cent against a growth rate of seven per cent in 2011. However, in the domestic market, growth in consumption of aluminium continues to outpace production growth, resulting in the country remaining a net importer of the commodity.
“The scenario is, however, expected to change in the medium-to-long term, with large capacity expansions currently being undertaken by the primary aluminium players, which is estimated to outweigh the anticipated growth in demand and create surplus capacity in the domestic market,” Jayanta Roy, senior vice-president and co-head, corporate sector ratings, ICRA, said.

Orbite Signs Option Agreement to Acquire a Kaolin Clay and Sand Property in Nova Scotia, Canada

Global Financial Network - November 14th, 2012,

MONTREAL - Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") is pleased to announce, that as part of its growth strategy, it has entered into an agreement with a private company pursuant to which Orbite has been granted an exclusive option for a period of three years (the "Option Agreement") to acquire a 100% undivided interest in the mineral claims and exploration rights of the Chaswood kaolin clay and sand property located in Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada (the "Property").
The Chaswood Property consists of 163 claims encompassing 2,608 hectares (approximately 26.1 km2) in central Nova Scotia and is accessible by a network of paved highways and all-weather secondary roads. The property is strategically located near a natural gas pipeline and in proximity to the Port of Halifax, a major commercial port, that could enable national and international shipments from a nearby smelter-grade alumina (SGA) plant.
"Our vision is to build several SGA plants serving, the Northern Atlantic including Quebec, the world's third largest aluminum producing region. This option agreement, allows us to pursue our objectives for growth while providing the potential to diversify the SGA plant locations and feedstock material within the wider region," stated Richard Boudreault, President and CEO of Orbite. "Orbite already holds significant aluminous clay properties in Quebec, extending from the Quebec City region to our Grande-Vallee property in the Gaspe. As Orbite establishes itself as a significant player in the alumina industry, we would like to reiterate our commitment to developing SGA plants in the Gaspe and elsewhere, while also expressing our excitement to collaborate with the government of Nova Scotia and its communities. In this spirit of cooperation, we fully intend to provide local communities with information about our projects and the environmental, social, and economic impacts they will have, just like we're doing in the Gaspe region."
"We are very pleased to welcome Orbite Aluminae to Nova Scotia. Their innovative technology for producing alumina and industry experience make them a welcome addition to our business community," said Charlie Parker, Nova Scotia's Minister of Natural Resources. Nova Scotia's abundance of natural resources, including rich deposits of kaolin clay, access to a competitive energy supply, cost-effective transportation network and a streamlined permitting process make our province a good choice. I look forward to learning more about Orbite's plans as they work closely with government and communities to develop their project."
Historic drilling and seismic data suggests the potential for a deposit containing intercalated units of kaolin-rich clay and silica sand, extending approximately 6 kilometers in length and to a vertical depth that exceeds 100m in certain drill holes. The deposit consists of Cretaceous sediments, collectively termed the Chaswood Formation throughout the Maritime Provinces, which typically contain 20-23% alumina in the kaolin-rich silty clays and 95-99% silica in the silica sand. Lab testwork has confirmed that the kaolin rich clay fraction alone contains 30-38% alumina. The grade provided is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration work to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if future exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
In order to complete a mineral resource estimate that is compliant with NI 43-101, Orbite intends to review and compile historical data, complete a surface exploration and mapping program, and complete additional drilling to improve drill spacing, particularly in the southern end of the property.

Aluminium deficit 200,000 mt in first nine months of 2012: Rusal

Platts - November 12th, 2012,

The global aluminium market deficit fell to 200,000 mt for the first nine months of 2012 from 600,000 mt in the first half of the year, Russian producer Rusal said Monday.
Citing its own internal projections, the world's biggest aluminium producer said the reduced deficit was the result of "increased Chinese production and some ex-China restarts of idled capacity."
Worldwide production of primary aluminium in the first nine months of 2012 is estimated at 35.3 million mt, up 4% from 33.8 million mt of production in the corresponding period of 2011, Rusal said.
"The growth in aluminium production was largely driven by continuing increases in aluminium production capacity in China, where output grew to 16.7 million mt in the nine months of 2012 (an increase of 15% compared to that of the corresponding period of 2011)," the company said in its third-quarter results statement.
Despite a cut in aluminium production resulting from the closure of some aluminium plants in China, aluminium production has increased overall in 2012 as a result of local government subsidies to offset negative margins of smelters, Rusal said, adding that since June, six Chinese provinces have been enjoying some form of power subsidies from local governments, adding to oversupply and increased stocks.
On the demand side, Rusal has revised down its 2012 global primary aluminium consumption estimation to 47.3 million mt from 47.5 million mt, but this still represents a 6% increase on 2011. China is expected to remain as the largest growing market (9% growth) followed by India (7%), North America (6%), Latin America (5%), Russia and the CIS (5%) and Japan (3%).
In contrast, the company said, consumption of primary aluminium in Europe in 2012 is expected to be 2% lower than in 2011.
Nevertheless, "despite ongoing concerns about further intensification of the eurozone financial crisis and a slowdown in the Chinese economy, the company expects that aluminium consumption will continue to grow and to be stronger in the fourth quarter of 2012," Rusal said.
The company believes this will be largely driven by a Chinese rebound in growth, a resilient US automotive sector as well as new monetary stimulation steps taken by global central banks to support global economic growth and financial markets.

Vedanta hopes to run Odisha refinery till Dec 5

Business Standard - November 10th, 2012,

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) is hopeful of running its one million tonne refinery at Lanjigarh till December 5, buoyed by bauxite supplies from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) and Bharat Aluminium Company's (Balco) Kawardah mines in Chhattisgarh.
The aluminium firm on September 6 had served a notice to the state labour department, intending to shut the refinery by December 5 as raw material unavailability had impaired the plant's operations.
"We have received the first shipment of 45,000 tonne from GMDC. The residual 45,000 tonne will reach our plant premises by November 13. Bauxite supplies from GMDC and Balco's Kawardah mines will help us to run the refinery till December 5. But concerns of running the refinery beyond this date still remain”, said a senior VAL official.
VAL is currently running its refinery at 60% capacity. Balco's mine is supplying 3,000 tonne of bauxite every day to the refinery. VAL needs 10,000 tonne of bauxite per day to run its refinery at full capacity.
The official said talks are on with exporters based out of Gujarat and Maharashtra but no deal has been sealed yet.
Recently, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal had called on chief minister Naveen Patnaik, impressing upon the need to make available bauxite for the refinery.
Earlier, VAL had approached both Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci), seeking a ban on bauxite exports.
While VAL was struggling to keep its refinery operations afloat for want of bauxite, the raw material continued to be exported by private miners in Gujarat and Maharashtra due to better price realisations.
The company has not been alloted any mining lease in Odisha and fully depends on externally-sourced bauxite to run its refinery. It had entered into a pact with state-controlled miner Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for supply of bauxite from Niyamgiri hills.
However, attempts to mine bauxite in the ecologically-sensitive hills were thwarted by the Union environment ministry, which scrapped the Stage-II forest clearance on August 24, 2010.
Around 6,500 people, including 550 employed directly, 5,000 engaged indirectly and 1,000 self-employed, in and around the plant depend on the VAL refinery for their livelihood. The company claimed to have spent Rs 150 crore on the development of the local area and community.

AUSTRALIAN BAUXITE LIMITED (ASX:ABZ) 5.7 MILLION TONNES MAIDEN TASMANIAN RESOURCE NEAR BELL BAY PORT

IT News - November 8th, 2012,

Emerging bauxite development company, Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX:ABZ) has bauxite tenements totalling more than 7,500 km2 covering the core of the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province (see Figure 6). ABx considers its Tasmanian Project located within 100 km of Bell Bay Port to be a state significant discovery of a major bauxite province, which may come into production ahead of ABx's other mainland projects.
A 2 to 8 metres thick surface layer of gibbsite-rich, low silica bauxite occurs in moderate-sized blocks over the Tasmanian northern midlands area in the hinterland of Bell Bay where Australia's first alumina refinery and first aluminium smelter were established. In early 2012, ABx identified bauxite in Tasmanian locations, which are suitable for production. Drilling commenced in late August and will continue throughout 2013 to extend the areas of bauxite drill testing. Only 7% of targeted areas have been drilled to date and contain the following maiden resources:
The resource is based on 377 holes totalling 2,652 metres, averaging 7 metres depth.
Typically there is 3.5 to 4 metres of bauxite beneath 0.5 to 2 metres of soil and overburden which will be selectively removed and replaced over mined-out areas to ensure that seeds and soils remain viable.
Approximately 50% of the bauxite layer is DSO grade Bauxite2 which can be mined and directly shipped.
DSO Bauxite would typically be the first bauxite shipped because it requires no processing on site.
However, if bauxite production proceeds successfully, other parts of the deposits will be extracted, screened and blended into the stockpile at the port. Once the screening and blending is established, a high quality gibbsite-rich bauxite product suitable for low-temperature alumina refineries can be exported, probably from Bell Bay, Tasmania.
Recent drilling tested Bauxite Deposit DL-130 located 65 km south-south-west of Bell Bay deepwater port in a privately owned plantation that is under harvest. Thicker than expected bauxite has been encountered up to 6 metres thick over a wide area; this suggests that this project could commence production earlier than anticipated with minimal impacts, returning the land to plantation timber after extracting the surface layer of bauxite and replacing the thin soil layer.

Tajikistan to miss 2012 aluminium output target-source

Reuters - November 8th, 2012,

DUSHANBE - Tajikistan, central Asia's biggest producer of primary aluminium, is likely to cut output to just over 270,000 tonnes this year from 277,584 tonnes in 2011, a source close to Tajikistan Aluminium Co's management said on Thursday.
The state-owned aluminium smelter, known as TALCO, reduced output by 0.3 percent year-on-year in January-October to 230,772 tonnes after two consecutive months of growth, said the source, who declined to be named because the output data is not public.
In September, TALCO cut its production forecast for the year by 15 percent to 281,000 tonnes due to a smelter overhaul and a brief stoppage of gas supplies from neighbouring Uzbekistan.
"The official forecast (for 2012) remains the same, but in fact TALCO is set this year to produce just slightly more than 270,000 tonnes," the source told Reuters.
"We probably won't achieve this (earlier) target, because serious problems have emerged due to technological faults in a number of electrolytic pots, which has led to a certain decline in output."
The smelter's output declined by more than a fifth to 277,584 tonnes in 2011.
Tajikistan, the poorest of the 15 former Soviet Union republics, relies heavily on the smelter's earnings. Official data show aluminium accounted for around 57 percent of all Tajik hard currency export revenue in January-October of 2012.

Nalco braces for possible closure of bauxite mines

The Indian Express - November 3rd, 2012,

Public Sector National Aluminium Company seems to be heading for major crisis this month as the 30-year-old mining lease of company’s only bauxite mine in Koraput district is about to expire on November 16 with no signs of the lease getting renewed in the next couple of weeks.
The central and north block of Panchpatmali bauxite mines in Damanjodi block of Koraput district spread over 4,692.05 hectares is the only working mine with Nalco. It produces 6.3 million tonne of bauxite per annum.
Of the 4,692.05 hectare, Nalco surrendered 1,288.76 hectare in May 2002. In July 2010, Nalco surrendered 2,087.918 hectare to the state government. The company has now sought temporary working permit for a year over broken-up forest land of 921.70 hectare in the same mine.
As per a circular of the environment ministry, all projects involving diversion of forest land would need environmental clearance. The ministry has also made it mandatory for companies to have public hearing before they apply for clearance.
Jiban Mohapatra, DGM (coordination) said that all efforts were on to get the necessary clearances, but admitted there existed a danger of the mines shutting down. “It’s a Central PSU. Therefore we expect the Centre to be lenient. But we are not sure of getting clearances before November 16,” he said.

Abu Dhabi signs aluminium ore supply deal with Guinea

Middle East Online - November 3rd, 2012,

ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi has signed a long-term contract with the world's biggest producer Guinea for the supply of bauxite ore for the United Arab Emirates aluminium industry, state media reported on Saturday.
The deal between Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala and Guinean firm Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee will give the UAE "a strategic resource" for its aluminium industry and will help CBG to further increase its bauxite production, the official WAM news agency reported.
Guinean Mines Minister Mohamed Lamine Fofana said that the agreement would enable partly state-owned CBG to increase its production capacity to more than 20 million tonnes per annum, injecting $500 million (389 million euros) into the Guinean economy.
Mubadala chief operating officer Walid al-Muhairi said the Guinean firm would provide a "long-term and high-quality" supply for the UAE aluminium industry.

Weipa bauxite resource upgraded

ABC Rural - November 2nd, 2012,

High-grade bauxite deposits in western Cape York could become China's preferred source if plans to expand mining in the world-class Weipa province go ahead.
Exploratory miner Cape Alumina has significantly upgraded its resources to 202 million tonnes, which is about half of its target.
Despite opposition from conservationists because of its proximity to the Wenlock River, the company's Pisolite Hills project has now been declared a 'significant project' by the Queensland Government.

5 other areas identified for future bauxite mining

fijivillage.com - November 2nd, 2012,

Five other areas in the country have been identified for future bauxite mining.
Mineral Resources assistant director Venasio Naisara said these areas are Nasorowaqa, Wainunu, Seaqaqa and areas between Lautoka and Ba.
Naisara said from these areas, Chinese company Aurum Exploration Fiji Limited holds the exploration license for Nasorowaqa, Wainunu and Seaqaqa while the areas between Lautoka and Ba are held by Australian company Oak Mine.
Aurum Exploration Fiji Limited mine manager Vanuaca Basilio also confirmed this saying they have visited these areas and found that the bauxite in these particular areas is massive then any found in Fiji.
According to Basilio, it is a long term plan for the company.
He added that at the moment they cannot give any amount to how much money will be generated when mining starts in these areas.

Rio Tinto unit confirms Jan deadline for Gove, Australia, alumina refinery decision

Platts - November 2nd, 2012,

Rio Tinto subsidiary Pacific Aluminium confirmed Friday that it was expecting to decide in January whether to revamp or suspend operations at the high-cost Gove alumina refinery in Australia's Northern Territory.
While it has been public knowledge for some time that the 2.65 million mt/year facility is among Rio Tinto's worst performing assets, the January timeline is generally news to the majority of alumina market participants.
This week Rio Tinto customers said they have been cautioned about potential imminent alumina supply issues from Gove. A customer said it was advised that the disruptions may arise from as early as February.
Pacific Aluminium said Friday that apart from a potential suspension of refinery operations until economic conditions improved, the company was also considering the opportunity to increase bauxite mining and export from Gove.
In addition, the company said another option was whether to convert the refinery to natural gas as a lower cost source of energy, from heavy fuel oil. Converting the refinery to gas would significantly improve the facility's cost position, and help underpin its long-term operating life, Pacific Aluminium said, adding that negotiations with potential gas suppliers were underway.
On Thursday, a Rio Tinto customer reported that it was on track to take delivery of an alumina parcel from Gove within the month, and hadn't been alerted to any changes in shipping arrangements.
Rio Tinto has two other Australia alumina refineries in Queensland. Queensland Alumina -- a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Rusal -- can produce 3.95 million mt/year at Gladstone, while Rio Tinto's wholly owned plant at Yarwun can make 3.4 million mt/year.
Alumina participants have said Chinese buyers sometimes favor shipments from Gove due to the lower cost of freight from the Northern Territory, compared with ports in western and eastern Australia.
Rio Tinto previously hoped to sell the Gove operations, which can produce more than 8.2 million mt/year of bauxite and 2.65 million mt/year of alumina. The assets were transferred to Pacific Aluminium in October 2011, as part of a group of six non-core assets in Australia and New Zealand that were primed for divestment.
Sources familiar with the Gove refinery operations have told Platts that apart from the high cost of energy, the Gove refinery has historically not been able to operate at its full nameplate capacity due to mechanical limitations. Its under-utilization has also been inflating the unit cost of production, sources said.
The other assets managed by Pacific Aluminium are Boyne Smelters Ltd. and the associated Gladstone Power Station in Queensland, the Bell Bay smelter in Tasmania, Tomago smelter in New South Wales, and the New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.

Alcoa Sardinia smelter powers down final cell

Gazzetta del Sud - November 2nd, 2012,

Portovesme - The troubled Alcoa aluminium smelter in Portovesme shut down the last of its cells on Thursday, one day ahead of schedule, in the wake of a decision to power down the plant that has pitted workers against the Italian government and the American aluminium giant.
''This is the saddest day,'' said union representatives as they made the announcement. The smelter, which employs hundreds of people in the depressed Sulcis area in southwest Sardinia, is now technically at a standstill.
Unions have been in negotiations with the government and Alcoa to try to keep the plant in operation while an alternative buyer is found. In early October the Italian economy ministry said three companies - Klesch industrial group of Switzerland, Italian firm Kite Gen and ''a major Australian company'' - had come forward with serious expressions of interest, but there has been no further word on negotiations.
Meanwhile on Friday it emerged that Rome authorities had failed to grant permission for a planned demonstration by 500 Alcoa workers and union representatives outside Palazzo Chigi, the seat of government, on November 6, allegedly due to the large number of people due to be present.
''We will talk to the workers and then see what to do,'' said CISL trades union representative Rino Barca. ''However in light of this situation we cannot rule out other demonstrations, other forms of protest''.
Alcoa workers and union representatives have staged a number of high-profile protests in recent months over the decision by the American company to shut down the factory starting September 1. Alcoa has promised to keep all workers at its Portovesme plant employed through the end of the year.

Balco will soon have 7 lakh tonne capacity: Vedanta

Business Standard - November 2nd, 2012,

Resources today said the company plans to increase the capacity of its Balco facility to 7 lakh tonnes per annum from one lakh tonnes per annum soon.
"When we took over BALCO it was producing one lakh tonnes per annum of aluminium... We are taking it to 7 lakh tonnes per annum as quickly as possible," Chairman Vedanta Resources Anil Aggarwal told reporters here.
The company is also expanding the capacity of its 1,200 MW power plant, to feed the aluminium unit, to 2000 MW.
"State government has done everything to speed up the entire process, we would add 800 MW to that unit soon," he added.
Meanwhile, the company's refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha, which was temporarily shutdown on October 13, has opened and re-started operations as it has procured bauxite from Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.
The company now has a stock of about 40,000 tonnes of bauxite.
The company will receive 90,000 tonnes of bauxite from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation.