AluNews - January 2014

Oman opens $385m aluminium rolling plant

Food Production Daily - January 30th 2014,

Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC) has opened a $385m plant in Sohar, north of the capital Muscat, which will be operational by the end of Q1 2014.

The annual capacity of the plant is 140,000 tons of multi-purpose aluminium sheets which will be sold regionally and exported to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America.

Smelted aluminium

The factory is located next to Sohar Aluminium Smelter, where smelted aluminium is transferred to the rolling processing with various alloys, depending on the market needs.

Hilal Al Kharusi, chairman, OARC, said the site will create jobs for Omanis, diversify the national economy and export processed aluminium overseas.

Emphasis should be given on diversifying the national economy and providing job opportunities for Omanis, this huge project will be a milestone in the Omani industrial sector and bring in numerous benefits to the national economy,” he said.

We are looking at reaching full plant operational capacity in the first quarter of 2014.

We started contributing to local businesses through providing job opportunities and contracting with local vendors and small businesses and we plan to export processed aluminium to different countries overseas.”

Rio Tinto in talks to sell Quebec aluminum plant

Mining Weekly - January 28th 2014,

NEW YORK – A small Canadian aluminium producer is in talks to take over Rio Tinto Alcan's aluminium casthouse in Shawinigan, Quebec, rescuing the plant from closure at the end of this year, the fund's project leader told Reuters on Monday.

Sotrem, a company based in Saguenay, Quebec, that makes aluminium foundry alloys and deox, a type of aluminium used to remove oxygen in steel production, is leading the deal to buy the plant, said Yvon D'Anjou, who is in charge of the project.

"We expect to come to a consensus in the next few months," said D'Anjou.

He is familiar with the plant, having worked as head of business development at Alcan until 2008, he said.

A spokesperson for Rio Tinto confirmed in an email that the company has entered exclusive negotiations for the sale of the casthouse, but did not give any further details.

Under a plan drawn up by Sotrem, the casthouse would produce 35 000 t/y to 40 000 t/y of small-diameter extrusion billet, a niche product used to make gas cylinders and scuba diving tanks, D'Anjou said.

That capacity could increase to 60 000 t/y in the next two years if there was demand.

The smelter on site, which Alcan shut towards the end of last year, is not included in the deal, he said.

Financial terms are still being hammered out. Sotrem will also look into securing possible government financial help and expects to invest, "a few million dollars over the next few years," D'Anjou said.

Sotrem is owned by Pluri-Capital, an investment fund headquartered in Jonquiere, Quebec.

The new owners would employ about 50 people, slightly less than the current 60-strong workforce at the casthouse.

The fund is negotiating with Alcan to secure long-term supplies of aluminium for the casthouse from Alcan's other Canadian smelters, he said.

The closure of the primary smelter comes as aluminium producers are under pressure to cut expenses as prices on the London Metal Exchange languish close to or below costs because of a big global surplus.

Rio Tinto, one of the world's top mining companies, has sold or idled numerous under performing aluminium assets, following its $38-billion takeover of Alcan in 2007.

Environmental regulations also helped force the closure of the Shawinigan primary smelter, which produced about 100 000 t/y using Soderberg technology, which is considered less energy efficient than newer methods of smelting aluminium.

BHP may close aluminium smelter in South Africa

Mining Weekly - January 20th 2014,

Mining giant BHP Billiton on Monday confirmed that it has begun a formal consultation process with the employees at its Bayside aluminium facility, in South Africa, with a view to ceasing operations.

A spokesperson for the miner told Mining Weekly Online that the company had initiated a review of the Bayside operation in September 2012, as the smelter was under “significant and ongoing financial pressure”.

“Our aim is to minimise the impact of any changes on employees and the local downstream industry,” the Australia-based spokesperson said.

“BHP Billiton has been in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders to discuss the challenges faced by the business, explore options for the Bayside operation and ensure a sustainable aluminium business can operate in Richards Bay and South Africa.”

She noted that to support the ongoing supply to the local customers, the cast house within the Bayside operation would continue to operate with supply from BHP’s neighbouring Hillside smelter while we assess options for its future.

Decommissioning and rehabilitation of the remainder of the Bayside site, if undertaken, would provide an additional source of employment for the duration of the project.

BHP’s South Africa VP for communications and stakeholder relations, Lulu Letlape said that as the company had worked through the consultation process, the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees would remain a priority.

We are focused on mitigating the impact of potential job losses while ensuring the existence of a sustainable aluminium business in Richard’s Bay,” she added.

Bayside is the only producer of value-added primary aluminium products in Southern Africa that is all used for the local market.

Inalum to boost production to 650,000 tons per year

The Jakarta Post - January 19th 2014,

Aluminum producer PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), now a state-owned enterprise, will gradually increase production to 650,000 tons per year from the current 260,000 by expanding the development of stoves, new power plants and other supporting facilities.

“We are committed to realizing our corporate strategic plans within the next five to 10 years by, among others things, trying to boost production and diversifying products,” said Inalum president director S S Sijabat in Medan, North Sumatra, on Saturday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The Indonesian government formally took over as owner of Inalum, Southeast Asia’s only aluminum smelter, and ended its 30-year management by a majority-Japanese consortium, through the signing of agreement between Indonesia and the Japanese investors at the Industry Ministry in Jakarta, on Dec. 9 last year.

The stock handover from the Japanese investors to the government took place at the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, on Dec. 13, 2013.

Sijabat, who was appointed the company’s president director following the takeover, acknowledged that the prices of Inalum’s products had not yet improved and the situation was predicted to continue until the second quarter of 2014.

BHP in talks to close South African aluminium smelter

Business Recorder - January 17th 2014,

JOHANNESBURG: Global mining group BHP Billiton said on Friday it had started talks with employees at its Bayside aluminium smelter in South Africa about possibly closing the operation, a move that could cost 450 jobs.

The company said in a statement the operation "has been under significant and ongoing financial pressure" and that "BHP Billiton today began a formal consultation with employees in its Aluminium South Africa business on a proposal to cease smelting activities and associated services at Bayside."

BHP is consulting with two unions about the proposed closure and job cuts, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity. Job cuts are a thorny issue in South Africa and the government and ruling ANC, which faces a general election in about three months, has criticised other mining companies such as Anglo American Platinum over proposed lay-offs.

NUMSA, the country's biggest union, is known for its militancy and uncompromising stance in talks with employers.

Officials from neither NUMSA nor Solidarity were immediately available for comment.

The closure of the energy-intensive smelter would also have implications for South Africa's strained power grid and could offer some relief as the continent's largest economy struggles to keep the lights on and bring new power plants online.

Rio Tinto Alcan inaugurates its AP60 aluminium smelter in Canada

Mining Weekly - January 17th 2014,

Giant global mining company Rio Tinto’s Canadian subsidiary, Rio Tinto Alcan, on Thursday inaugurated the $1.1-billion Arvida aluminium smelter, the AP60 Technology Centre, in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec.

The new plant has an installed capacity of 60 000 t of aluminium and is the most technologically advanced aluminium smelter in the world, the company said in a press release.

"Rio Tinto Alcan is very proud to inaugurate the new Arvida aluminium smelter, AP60 Technology Centre. Today's milestone is the result of years of work by our research and development teams, particularly the teams that first conceived, developed and tested the AP60 technology at the Laboratoire de recherche des fabrications, in France," Rio Tinto Alcan CEO Jacynthe Côté said.

The new AP60 technology platform would allow Rio Tinto Alcan to develop a series of next-generation technologies, permitting improvements in productivity, and reductions in energy and environmental footprint in aluminium smelting.

The facility would produce 40% more aluminium per cell than the previous generation of AP technology. The 60 000 t plant employs nearly 135 people and reached full capacity in December.

Rio Tinto Alcan inaugurates its leading-edge AP60 aluminium smelter in Canada

Rio Tinto - January 16th 2014,

Rio Tinto Alcan inaugurated the US$ 1.1 billion Arvida Aluminium Smelter, AP60 Technology Centre, in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec. The new plant has an installed capacity of 60,000-tonnes of aluminium and is the most technologically advanced aluminium smelter in the world.

Jacynthe Côté, Chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan said: "Rio Tinto Alcan is very proud to inaugurate the new Arvida Aluminium Smelter, AP60 Technology Centre. It is an honour to share this achievement with the men and women who made it possible - our employees. Today's milestone is the result of years of work by our Research and development teams, particularly the teams that first conceived, developed and tested the AP60 technology at the Laboratoire de recherche des fabrications (LRF) in France. The innovative new AP60 technology platform will also allow for the development of a series of next generation technologies permitting further improvements in productivity, and reductions in energy and environmental footprint.

"It is also important to recognize the valued support from all our employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders from across our host community. The new Arvida Aluminium Smelter, AP60 Technology Centre represents the next chapter in our over 100 year history as a leading aluminium producer.

"The new AP60 plant clearly illustrates Rio Tinto Alcan's commitment to innovation and our strategy to focus on projects that will increase our competitiveness through productivity and that leverage our unparalleled hydro power position, further reducing our environmental footprint", concluded Mrs. Côté.

Alcoa to close two more potlines in New York

Mining Weekly - January 16th 2014,

Aluminium producer Alcoa said on Wednesday it plans to permanently close the two potlines at its Massena East smelter in Massena, New York in the first quarter.

Alcoa closed one of Massena East's three potlines in August 2013. The company said the potlines were not competitive. Its Massena West facility is not affected.

Aluminium prices are hovering close to the cost of production for many of the world's smelters, and analysts have said more cuts are needed to reduce a global surplus of the metal and boost prices.

Wednesday's announcement, part of a review announced in May, will cut Alcoa's smelting capacity by 84 000 t. It expects to take after-tax restructuring charges between $60-million and $70-million, or $0.06 a share, in the first quarter. About 40% of the charges will be non-cash.

Including Massena East, Alcoa has announced temporary shutdowns or permanent closures totaling 361 000 t of annual capacity. The company said in May it was reviewing 460 000 t of capacity.

Massena East employs 332 people, said Alcoa spokesperson Monica Orbe in an email.

"We will work with the local unions to minimise the impact on jobs," she said.

Alcoa to Permanently Close Remaining Potlines at Massena East Smelter

Alcoa Inc. - January 15th 2014,

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today announced it will permanently close the remaining two potlines at its Massena East smelter in New York in the first quarter of this year. The decision was made because the potlines are no longer competitive. One of three potlines at the facility was permanently closed in August 2013. The closure will reduce Alcoa’s smelting capacity by 84,000 metric tons. The Massena West facility will continue to operate.

“We will be working with our unions, state, local and other stakeholders to minimize the impact of these changes,” said Bob Wilt, president of Alcoa Global Primary Products. “We appreciate the support of the New York Power Authority and will work with them and others to ensure our continuing success at Massena West.”

Alcoa’s review of its primary metals operations is consistent with the Company’s 2016 goal of lowering its position on the world aluminum production cost curve to the 38th percentile, and the alumina cost curve to the 21st percentile.

In 2013, the Company met its goal of lowering its cost position in both aluminum smelting and alumina refining, having reached the 43rd percentile on the global aluminum cost curve, and 27th percentile on the global alumina cost curve. These shifts represent an 8 point movement and 3 point movement, respectively, since 2010.

Including the closure of the remaining two potlines at Massena East, Alcoa has announced closures or curtailments representing 361,000 metric tons of the 460,000 metric tons placed under review in May of 2013. Once the Massena East potline closure is complete, Alcoa will have total smelting operating capacity of 3,950,000 metric tons, with approximately 655,000 metric tons of capacity idle.

“We are taking decisive action to close the remaining potlines, given they are no longer competitive,” Wilt added. “We continue to reshape our commodity business to ensure it is positioned for long-term success.”

Total restructuring-related charges for the first quarter of 2014 associated with the above closure are expected to be between $60 and $70 million after-tax, or $.06 per share, of which approximately 40 percent is non-cash.

Chinese firm to construct Aluminium processing plant at Shama

GhanaWeb - January 12th 2014,

A multi-national Chinese construction firm, Huasheng Jiangquan Group, has identified Shama District as a viable place for the construction of an aluminium processing plant.

The District hosts the Aboadze Thermal Plant, the Regulatory and Metering Station of the West African Gas Pipeline Company, the fertilizer factory, the Pra River and vast land.

The District Chief Executive, Mr. Enoch Kojo Appiah told the GNA in an interview that some officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry visited the project site on Wednesday January 8, to assess its viability.

He said a team from the Chinese firm would also arrive in the District next week for further feasibility studies.

He said the district had over 6,000 acres of land reserved for infrastructural development and that the traditional authorities and land owners had expressed their readiness to invest their land as equity.

Mr. Appiah said the plant would be sited between Fomayeh and Anlo Beach, near the Pra River; so that the water source could be used as a cooling agent for the plant which generates a lot of heat.

He said the plant would open up the area for more investors and create job opportunities.

“I am so excited after untiring efforts lobbying for investors to invest their monies in the district, moving from one Ministry to another as well as the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre,” Mr. Appiah said.

He said the district was the gateway to the Western Region and the best place for the construction of refineries, real estate development, shopping malls and many other projects.

The Chinese firm intends to invest over $2 billion dollars in Shama with anticipated 5,000 direct jobs to make the region the second industrial hub of the country.

Established in 1988 and based in the city of Linyi, China, Huasheng Jiangquang Group had subsidiaries that engage in power production, electrolytic aluminium and burnt carbon products, construction, foreign trade, real estate development, wood processing, ceramic tiles and white porcelain.

Chinese firm to construct aluminium processing plant in western Ghana

Ghana Business News - January 10th 2014,

A multi-national Chinese construction firm, Huasheng Jiangquan Group, has identified Shama District as a viable place for the construction of an aluminium processing plant.

The District hosts the Aboadze Thermal Plant, the Regulatory and Metering Station of the West African Gas Pipeline Company, the fertilizer factory, the Pra River and vast land.

The District Chief Executive, Mr. Enoch Kojo Appiah, told the GNA in an interview that some officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry visited the project site on Wednesday January 8, to assess its viability.

He said a team from the Chinese firm would also arrive in the District next week for further feasibility studies.

He said the district had over 6,000 acres of land reserved for infrastructural development and that the traditional authorities and land owners had expressed their readiness to invest their land as equity.

Mr Appiah said the plant would be sited between Fomayeh and Anlo Beach, near the Pra River so that the water source could be used as a cooling agent for the plant which generates a lot of heat.

He said the plant would open up the area for more investors and create job opportunities.

“I am so excited after untiring efforts lobbying for investors to invest their monies in the district, moving from one Ministry to another as well as the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre”, Mr. Appiah said.

He said the district was the gateway to the Western Region and the best place for the construction of refineries, real estate development, shopping malls and many other projects.

The Chinese firm intends to invest over $2 billion dollars at Shama with anticipated 5,000 direct jobs and make the Region the second industrial hub of the country.

Established in 1988 and based in the city of Linyi, China, Huasheng Jiangquang Group had subsidiaries that engage in power production, electrolytic aluminium and burnt carbon products, construction, foreign trade, real estate development, wood processing, ceramic tiles and white porcelain.

Sapa AB : Sapa decides to close aluminium tubing plant in Seneffe

Foundry-Planet Ltd. - January 7th 2014,

Sapa has announced its intention to close operations at its Precision Tubing plant in Seneffe, Belgium.

On November 7, Sapa communicated that the company had conducted a process of reviewing restructuring needs in Precision Tubing Europe to improve profitability and adjust to the market situation in Europe. As a result of this process, the company announced its intention to close the operations in Seneffe, Belgium.

Since then a consultation process was conducted with the employee representatives of Seneffe, which has now been concluded.

Following the completion of this information and consultation procedure, Sapa today confirmed the decision to close the Seneffe plant. The closure is necessary to ensure the continued long-term competitiveness and success of the new combined company.

Sapa will now put full focus on reaching an agreement on an appropriate social plan and severance packages.

Precision Tubing's production in Europe will in the future be concentrated in Tønder, Denmark, which will continue to serve as a center for technical expertise. Seneffe is expected to stop production by the end of first quarter 2014.

The Seneffe plant has 41 employees, with one extrusion press supplying tubes and tubular profiles to the automotive market.

Antam’s Alumina refinery in Indonesia to start operations in April

The Jakarta Globe - January 7th 2014,

State-controlled miner Aneka Tambang plans to start commercial operations of its $450 million aluminum processing plant located in Tayan, West Kalimantan in April, trying to fulfill a government requirement on the export of value-added minerals.

Tri Hartono, corporate secretary of the company known as Antam, confirmed to Jakarta Globe on Monday that commercial production of chemical-grade alumina (CGA) will start in April.

That would come three months after the government’s implementation of a ban on raw exports of minerals. All ore must be processed into refined products for shipment overseas to meet a Jan. 12 deadline. Miners that fail to meet the requirement risk losing their operating licenses.

The CGA plant, which will be operated by Indonesia Chemical Alumina (ICA), an 80 percent subsidiary of Antam, will process Antam’s bauxite ore, and it can produce up to 330,693 metric tons of CGA per year. Showa Denko, a giant Japanese chemical engineering company, owns the remaining 20 percent stake in ICA.

Construction of the plant, which can process 850,000 tons of bauxite ore per year, began in April 2011, and it was commissioned in October 2012. Since then it has been producing around 70 percent of its total capacity in a trial run.

Antam chief executive Tato Miraza had said in October that full production was expected in March or April 2014.

Antam plans to export the bulk of its CGA — at 200,000 tons per year — to Japan, while the remaining amount will be sold to markets outside Japan, including for domestic use in Indonesia. CGA is widely used in the production of electronic components, building materials and integrated circuits.

The CGA plant was financed by Antam and Showa Denko’s equity investments in ICA as well as bank loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Trust & Banking.

Antam is also working on other big projects that will add value to mineral ores, including the expansion of ferronickel production — which is processed from nickel ore — at a plant in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. That project, estimated to cost $573 million, should boost production capacity to around 27,557 tons to 29,762 tons of ferronickel per year in 2016 from around 19,841 tons now. Tri also said Antam plans to boost ferronickel output by 10 percent to 15 percent this year, as well as to increase gold sales by about 10 percent.

Alcoa May Close Australian Plant; Primary Indian Aluminum Shifts Up

Metal Miner - January 6th 2014,

Alcoa may be closing an Australian aluminum smelter. “More than 500 workers at Alcoa’s ageing Point Henry aluminium smelter at Geelong are to find out if the plant will close when the US aluminium giant completes a formal review of its future by the end of March,” reports The Australian.

“Closure of the struggling operation is considered a certainty by analysts, raising the prospect of more fallout for the Abbott government from its hardline stand on stopping “corporate welfare” through the provision of subsidies to struggling industrial operations.”

“The closure would also be another blow to the Victorian economy after Holden’s December decision to quit making cars in Australia by 2017, and the decision seven months earlier for Ford to do the same in 2016.”

In metal price news for aluminum…

The Indian aluminum cash price saw a 1.4 percent increase on Friday, January 3, making it the biggest mover for the day. Declining prices continue for the cash price of primary aluminum on the LME. It closed at $1,755 per metric ton only after falling further, this time by. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum declined 0.5 percent to $1,802 per metric ton.

Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum saw little change in its price last Friday. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese aluminum billet was unchanged. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held flat.

Abnormal QLD power prices force smelter production cut

Business Spectator Pty Ltd - January 6th 2014,

The Boyne Aluminium Smelter (BSL) in Gladstone, Queensland has announced it will be cutting back production by 14,000 tonnes from January to the end of March, according to the Gladstone Observer.

BSL general manager Joe Rea, blamed unusually high electricity prices in Queensland for the decision.

He told the Gladstone Observer, "It is an ongoing concern for our business that electricity prices in Queensland are significantly higher than other states in Australia ...Electricity prices in Queensland are currently 20% more expensive here than in New South Wales and 30% more expensive than in Victoria."

As has been highlighted by Climate Spectator, Queensland wholesale electricity market prices have been unusually high in recent times even though it has a large overhang of excess power generation capacity and can not be explained by the introduction of the carbon price. This has been blamed on a combination of a temporary transmission line constraint in Queensland, plus the fact the Newman Government chose to consolidate its three government-owned electricity generator companies into just two. These two companies dominate Queensland’s wholesale electricity market supply.

Alba sets production record in 2013

Zawya - January 5th 2014,

Alba sets a new record in production of 912, 700 mtpa in 2013, which was a jump of 22,483 mtpa from the 890,217 mtpa produced in 2012, thus boosting its position as a premium aluminium provider in the world markets.

Alba achieves 912,700 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa).
For the first time in Alba history, the company has exceeded 900,000 mt in a single year.
A celebratory ceremony to mark this landmark was held at the HRH Princess Sabeeka Oasis Hall on January 5, 2014.

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. ( Alba ), one of the world's leading smelters, announced today that it achieved a production record of 912, 700 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2013, a substantial leap of 22,483 mtpa from the 890,217 mtpa produced in 2012.

A ceremony to mark this milestone was held at the HRH Princess Sabeeka Oasis on January 5, 2014. It was attended by Alba 's Chief Executive, Tim Murray, Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al Ansari, Chief Financial Officer, Ali Al Baqali, Chief Marketing Officer, Jean Baptiste Lucas, members of Alba 's Labour Union as well as management staff and company employees.

Commenting on this achievement, Alba 's Chief Executive Officer, Tim Murray said:

" Alba was able to exceed 900,000 mtpa for the first time in its 40-year history, which is the result of the dedication of its hard working and loyal employees. We feel this increase in productivity is directly linked to the improvement in safety performance. As we look into 2014, we expect to go even higher in terms of operational improvements and plant reliability."

As ban looms, ore production to fall and big miners’ fate uncertain

The Jakarta Post - January 4th 2014,

The government has forecast a significant fall in the production of several minerals due to an upcoming ban on raw ore exports, but remains tight-lipped over a plan to revise it.

Nickel, bauxite and iron are among the minerals whose production is expected to nosedive this year as the government plans to put into effect a stipulation in the 2009 Mining Law, which requires ore to be domestically processed before being sold overseas.

Bauxite production is estimated to be only 1 million tons this year, compared to more than 47 million tons in 2013, according to the directorate general for mineral and coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

Nickel ore production is expected to drop to 9 million tons this year from more than 47 million tons last year.

Meanwhile, iron output is estimated to fall to 10 million tons from last year’s 15 million tons, as domestic processing facilities are expected to absorb production of the ore.

The controversial law, which aims to boost the domestic downstream industry, is scheduled to come into force on Jan. 12.

Doubts remain, however, over how exactly the government will implement the export ban as mining companies have expressed opposition, and anticipated negative repercussions on economic growth and state revenue have forced the government to rethink the policy.

“It is definite that the export of raw ore will no longer be allowed,” mineral and coal director general R. Sukhyar said on Friday.

However, he said a regulation was being prepared to set the minimum level of processing and purification for certain commodities before export.

Already, several regulations on processing and purification levels have been issued ahead of the implementation of the Mining Law. One of those regulations was a ministerial decree issued last year.

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said on Thursday that the new regulation, which focuses on the minimum level of processing and purification, was still being discussed.

“We will have an arrangement for companies that already process their ore and have smelters but have yet to reach a purification level of 100 percent,” he said.

“Those who have not processed or purified their output must stop their exports as we will no longer allow the export of raw materials, even if they have smelters.”

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry faced opposition last year from the House of Representatives a month ago when it proposed a plan to let miners who were committed to building processing facilities domestically continue exporting raw ore until their facilities were ready to process their output.

The House argued that miners had been given ample time since the Mining Law was passed in 2009 and had failed to show their seriousness about building smelters.

PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., said last month that it might have to cut its copper production by 60 percent as the existing smelter would not be able to process the company’s entire output.

At the moment, Freeport Indonesia delivers 40 percent of its production of copper concentrates to a local smelter belonging to PT Smelting in Gresik, East Java, where 300,000 tons of copper cathode are pumped out per year. The giant miner currently exports 60 percent of its concentrates and has claimed that the concentrates are not unprocessed materials.

However, under a current ministerial decree subordinating the Mining Law, copper ore can only be exported after it is processed into copper cathode.

Dede Indra Suhendra, director for minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said the new regulation would also settle the concentrate issue.

“It is mandatory [for miners] to purify copper. Therefore, there will be a further arrangement for those purifying copper [at a certain level],” he added.

Smelter's competitiveness hurt as production is reduced

The Observe - January 3rd 2014,

THESE aluminium ingots bound for Japan show the amount of aluminium business a competitor would take away from Queensland due to Boyne Smelter Ltd's three-month production cutback.

The smelter will be producing 14,000 tonnes less than usual from January to the end of March.

The decision to reduce aluminium production has stemmed from months of negotiations with Queensland electricity suppliers to try to secure a competitive price for 140mW of the smelter's electricity, which ended on December 31.

Workers' jobs will be safe during the cutback, as BSL managers decided natural attrition should deal with any required staff reductions.

Although production officially reduced on January 1, management said the process wasn't as simple as flicking a switch, nor was it cheap, but with the high price of Queensland power over the summer months it was still the most economic solution for BSL.
BSL general manager Joe Rea said workers had been scaling down production since mid-December.

"It's a very complex and expensive process and we've had a lot of employees working around the clock to ensure the smelter can achieve this safely," he said.

Mr Rea said it was a costly and time-consuming process that reduced the smelter's competitiveness on a global stage, but curtailing production was still the most economic solution.

"It is an ongoing concern for our business that electricity prices in Queensland are significantly higher than other states in Australia at a time when the price for aluminium in Australian dollar terms is 20% lower now than during the global financial crisis.

"Electricity prices in Queensland are currently 20% more expensive here than in New South Wales and 30% more expensive than in Victoria."

Mr Rea said he hoped the smelter could continue producing aluminium for BSL's joint-venture partners at a more competitive rate than what was available from the London Metal Exchange.

"We're confident we can come back up to full production (in April) but cutting back does concern the partners when we've just invested $750 million in the smelter," he said.

CUTTING BACK:
Production cells that have been cut out of the circuit early must be rebuilt prior to being put back into circuit.
Just over 60 reduction cells have been cut out of the circuit and the power consumption has been reduced on the rest of the cells.
Electricity has gone from the normal load of 950mW of consumption down to 870mW.
Ingots of aluminium are currently worth around (a fluctuating) US$1753 per tonne.


Emirates Extrusion to invest AED 13 million for new production line at Dubai plant

Zawya - December 29th, 2013,

Company reiterates focus on aluminium exports across Middle East and Africa amidst surging demand and construction boom Dubai, December 29, 2013: Emirates Extrusion Factory [EEF], a leading aluminium extrusion company in the UAE and a subsidiary of Masharie LLC - the private equity arm of Dubai Investments PJSC [DI], has announced plans to add a new production line at its aluminium extrusion plant in Techno Park, Dubai entailing an investment of AED 13 million.

The new line, to be added by mid-2014, will further augment the production capacity to 6,000 Metric Tonnes and will go a long way in bolstering the company's leadership in the sector. This new line will boost the production of wooden finish and powder-coated aluminium, which augurs well for EEF amidst surging demand due to the construction boom in the region.

The company, which reported annual turnover of AED 190 million in 2012, also unveiled plans to aggressively target the export markets in the wake of burgeoning construction activity across Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Yemen and Africa. EEF currently exports nearly 60-70% of its production to various countries across the Middle East and Africa.

Khalfan Al Suwaidi, EEF Managing Director, said: "The resurgence of the construction industry across the GCC and beyond is indeed good news for Emirates Extrusion, and we plan to cater to this inherent demand for extruded aluminium through our new production line. Construction takes a major chunk of our business - nearly 80%, with the rest being earmarked for industrial downstream projects. The new line will not only go a long way in escalating our overall output but also help us offer the most reliable aluminium profiles to the market."

He added: "At EEF, we will continue to focus on exports in the medium to long-term, as there is a huge demand for our products in growing markets across the GCC, the Middle East, Levant and Africa. We also expect increased demand from the local UAE market following Dubai's winning bid for Expo 2020, which reflects the immense growth potential on offer."

According to Frost & Sullivan, a leading business research & consulting firm, the UAE aluminium extrusion market is estimated to be in excess of 175,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) which amounts to approximately 35 per cent of the total Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) demand, growing at a compounded annual growth rate [CAGR] of eight to nine per cent between 2011 and 17.

Since its establishment, EEF has grown to become one of the Middle East's market leaders in the development, commercialization and production of high-quality aluminium systems for architectural and non-architectural applications. The company offers an impressive range of premium-quality, energy-efficient extruded aluminum profiles. EEF offerings include windows, doors, and structural glazing, as well as partition grill, hand rail, and curtain wall systems.

About Emirates Extrusion Factory

Emirates Extrusion Factory LLC [EEF] was established in 1993 in Ajman, UAE where it has gained a renowned position over the years for being one of the most dynamic and innovative aluminum extrusion companies in the Middle East.

Aside from the primary extrusion production, Emirates Extrusion also provides a full-range of on-site services like powder coating, anodizing and thermal break under one roof. The company's aluminum profiles are supplied to various markets including architectural, consumer products, transportation and industrial products; and comply with BS, EN and ISO 9001 standards.