AluNews - September 2014

Aleris to invest $350M to upgrade Kentucky facility

The Aluminium International Today - September 25th 2014,

Aleris has announced that it will invest $350 million to upgrade capabilities at its aluminium rolling mill in Lewisport, Kentucky, USA.

The investment positions Aleris to meet anticipated significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminium use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Aleris is currently a leading supplier to the European premium auto industry, which has led the transition to aluminium driven by tighter emissions standards.

"We have partnered with customers in the premium automotive segment from our Duffel, Belgium facility for years to develop and produce some of the most technically advanced lightweight aluminium solutions available today," Steve Demetriou, Aleris Chairman and CEO said. "We are excited to bring these capabilities to our Lewisport, Kentucky facility to serve automotive customers in North America as they shift toward significantly greater aluminium use."

The company expects to begin construction on the project this fall, with a goal of shipping automotive body sheet material to customers by early 2017. When fully operational, the new facility will allow for the production of 480 million pounds of aluminium auto body sheet annually.

The company's investment will include the addition of heat treatment and finishing capabilities, including a new wide cold mill, two continuous annealing lines and an automotive innovation centre.

"The key to our success in Europe has been our strong partnership with customers on research and development," Demetriou said. "We will take a similar approach with our customers in North America, ensuring they have the aluminium innovation that meets their specific needs."

A recent study of North American light vehicle aluminium content released by Ducker Worldwide states that the use of aluminium sheet for vehicle bodies is expected to increase to 4 billion pounds by 2025, from 200 million pounds in 2012. The properties of aluminium, which include its formability, recyclability, and high strength-to-weight ratio, make it an excellent solution for automotive manufacturers as they work to produce lighter vehicles that will meet more stringent fuel emissions in the United States.

Aleris has served the automotive industry from its facility in Duffel for many years. Including Lewisport, the company has 11 rolled aluminium products facilities in North America, the majority of which serve building & construction, truck-trailer, and metal distribution customers. Upon completion of the facility's upgrade, Lewisport will be the company's first site in North America that is equipped with aluminium auto body sheet finishing capabilities.

Dubai Aluminium plans $600 mln smelter upgrade

Reuters - September 23rd 2014,

ABU DHABI, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) plans to spend $600 million over the next three years to upgrade its smelter, an executive of its parent company, Emirates Global Aluminium, said on Tuesday.

The Dubai entity currently produces 1.1 million tonnes of aluminium per year, with the planned upgrade set to enhance output by 100,000 tonnes when completed, according to Yousuf Bastaki, senior vice president of major projects at Emirates Global Aluminium.

"About $600 million dollars is the plan for upgrading the plant in three years time," Bastaki told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Abu Dhabi.

Dubal merged with Emirates Aluminium last year to create Emirates Global Aluminium, the world's fifth-largest aluminium company with an enterprise value of about $15 billion, but remains a separate entity within the overall structure.

Bastaki declined to confirm if funding for the upgrade would come through bank loans.

Banking sources told Reuters earlier this month Dubal had held preliminary talks with banks about raising a loan to help fund its general operations, in what would be the first such facility for the firm in years.

Gulf aluminium production to hit 5 million tonnes

Metal Guru - September 23rd 2014,

Trade Arabia reported that the volume of aluminium production in the Gulf region is expected to increase to 5 million tonnes by 2015, accounting for 17.5% of the total global output, compared with 3.7 million tonnes in 2012 or 11% of the total world production.

A report released ahead of the Aluminium Middle East 2015, Gulf investments in the aluminium sector are expected to reach USD 55 billion by 2020, compared with USD 30 billion in 2011, thanks to expansion of smelters and new projects in the region, which will be held from April 14 to 16, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.

Mr Daniyal Qureshi, group exhibition director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East said that Globalization, market dynamics, environment and energy prices are redrawing the world aluminium industry map with the Middle East in general and the Arabian Gulf countries in particular emerging as the potential winners of the new business paradigm.

These mega trends, along with the opportunities for the GCC to benefit from them, will be highlighted at the Aluminium Middle East, the biggest specialised aluminium industry exhibition of its kind in the region that brings together manufacturers, producers, investors and services providers under one roof.

Mr Qureshi said that "The exhibition will put the aluminium market mega trends under the spotlight and define the best ways for the Middle East in general and GCC, in particular, can benefit from these trends. Aluminium industry experts say that the world will go through a fundamental transformation in all walks of life during the next 50 years, including where we live, what we consume, how we travel, and what we eat.

He said that These changes will fuel the demand for aluminium products worldwide and open the doors for those who are able to innovate and come up with what the world needs.

A study by Brookings Institute estimates that by 2020 more than three billion people will join the middle class, inclined to spend more on food and beverages, housing, electronics and travel, all of which are aluminium-guzzling industries.

The Aluminium Manufacturers and Producers Association expects the aluminium world demand to grow 6.5% annually which will see doubling of the production and consumption from 35 million tonnes in 2010 to more than 70 million tonnes by 2020.

mr Qureshi said that the region has a long way to go in moving away from exporting pure aluminium to products, similarly to what happened when it moved from exporting crude oil to exporting petrochemicals.

According to the study, Middle East's aluminium exports will increase from 76 per cent of all the production in 2013 to 85 per cent by 2020.

If the Middle East has to benefit from the new paradigm, experts say companies need to enter into partnerships with bauxite mine owners to hedge themselves against price fluctuations in the free market and the disruption of deliveries due to political instability in bauxite exporting countries.

Emirates Global Aluminium to build new $3bn Abu Dhabi refinery

The National Business - September 23rd 2014,

Emirates Global Aluminium, the world's fourth biggest aluminium producer, says it is building a US$3 billion alumina refinery as a boom in regional infrastructure projects spurs demand.

The company, born from the recent merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), is also gearing itself to profit from the shift to the metal among major car manufacturers that are seeking to improve fuel efficiency, said EGA's chief executive Abdulla Kalban. Prices for the metal have gained almost 10 per cent this year, giving EGA more reason to expand as quickly as possible to help the country seek other forms of revenue apart from oil.

"Middle East expansion of smelters is being driven by demand from the massive infrastructure projects in the region," Mr Kalban said at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

"In the past six years, the GCC aluminium industry has expanded substantially. Back then there were only two smelters. Dubal in the UAE and Alba in the kingdom of Bahrain, together producing about 1.9 million tonnes a year. Today, there are six smelters in the GCC region and the region's total annual production capacity is about 5 million tonnes, all of which is operated at full capacity to meet demand – which itself is forecast to continue to grow at 5.8 per cent at the global level for the remainder of the decade."

EGA, which accounts for almost half of the region's production capacity at 2.4 million tonnes, is now in the final stages of the feasibility study for the alumina refinery, which began about a year-and-a- half ago, he said. The refinery is expected to be operational by 2017 and will be done in two phases, each with a capacity to produce 2 million tonnes of alumina, he added.

The alumina will be used almost exclusively to feed into the smelters at EGA, which in turn exports about 90 per cent of its final product to more than 350 customers around the world, said Mr Kalban.

Alumina or aluminium oxide, the colourless powder which when smelted produces aluminium, is refined from bauxite. EGA owns bauxite mines in Guinea. It takes about 2 tonnes of bauxite to produce 1 tonne of alumina; and approximately 2 tonnes of alumina to produce 1 tonne of aluminium, according to Dubal's website.

While aluminium is best known in its guise as fizzy drink cans, it is also being increasingly used by car makers, who are favouring the metal in aspects of production over steel because of its lightness, which boosts vehicle fuel efficiency. Ford, one of the biggest car makers in the US, said earlier this year that it would make body panels for its ubiquitous F-150 pickup with aluminium. Other car makers, such as Japan's Toyota, are also expected to start using more aluminium, according to Automotive News.

"We are very fortunate from the company's point of view because we are in the business of producing value-added products," said Mr Kalban. "We are looking at how we can increase the aluminium in the cars. We are very well positioned to take advantage of this trend."

Nearer to home, governments in the region have embarked on massive infrastructure plans in the past couple of years. From Abu Dhabi's new airport terminal to King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia, all will require large amounts of metal, giving regional producers a buffer against any drop in demand from large Asian clients such as China, Mr Kalban said.

Ethiopia To Host $50 Million Aluminium Plant From Dubai

Ventures Africa - September 23rd 2014,

Dubai-based Al Ghurair Group has teamed up with Ethiopian firm, Tracon Trading, to build its first Aluminium Production Plant in the East-African country, an investment worth $50 million.

The deal is structured such that Al Ghurair will provide equity financing while Tracon Trading will source funds from local investors; the resulting outfit will be a joint venture where each partner will have equal share in the Ethiopian market. Necessary fundamentals are in place as about 30,000 square meters of investment land has already been acquired on lease from the Addis Ababa City Administration.

CEO Majid Ghurair, in a discussion with President Mulatu Teshome and Minister of Trade Kebene Chane, revealed that the factory will have a starting production capacity of some 25 to 30 thousand metric tonnes of aluminium, its completion is expected to substitute the importation of aluminium.

The factory is expected to commence production in a year according to the Deputy Manager of Tracon Trading, Mr Elias Omer. He believes the factory will go beyond substituting imports to satisfying the local demand for Aluminium and improving intra-African trading by allowing for exports to other East African countries.

Aluminium represents the second largest market for metals globally. World demand for the lightweight metal is heavily driven by China's booming economy which consumed more than a quarter of the world's total aluminium production as at 2010.

Its lighter feel compared to steel guarantees a greater demand in the automotive industry. Experts say a kilo of aluminium, used as a substitute for heavier metals in car industry, reduces gas consumption by 8.5 litres and produces 20 kg less carbon dioxide emissions. Also, a 10 percent reduction of car weight results in a 9 percent increase of fuel consumption efficiency. This shows how profitable aluminium mining is likely to be.

The Ethiopian President and Minister of Trade have pledged their support as both firms move forward with this deal.

UAE to build $3 bln alumina refinery by end-2017

Reuters - September 22nd 2014,

ABU DHABI, Sept 23 (Reuters) - State-owned Emirates Global Aluminium plans to spend $3 billion to build an alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi, chief executive Abdulla Kalban said on Tuesday.

Feasibility studies have been completed and the refinery will be operational by the end of 2017, Kalban told reporters. Alumina, extracted from bauxite in the refining process, is used to produce primary aluminium.

"We are building the refinery to secure our own important materials," Kalban said, adding that the refinery would ultimately produce 4 million tonnes annually.

Emirates Global Aluminium, the world's fifth-largest aluminium company with an enterprise value of about $15 billion, was formed by the merger last year of Abu Dhabi's Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal). (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Writing by Andrew Torchia)

Improved coating adhesion with aluminium oxide

Pipelines International - September 22nd 2014,

Pipeline coating technology is of considerable importance to the international industry, helping maintain flow while extending the life of the pipeline. Properly applied coatings – both internal and external – enable pipelines to operate efficiently under challenging conditions and environments. Continued advances in coating technology are equally important, and industry is increasingly looking to aluminium oxide for improved coating adhesion and performance.

Surface preparation plays a vital role in ensuring a coating's performance.

The objective of surface preparation is to facilitate the adhesion of the coating, the level of adhesion of which determines whether the coating is just a thin film lying on the surface, or if it is able to offer effective protection by becoming part of the substrate.

If the surface is not properly prepared, the coating cannot be applied correctly, which will only cost more time and money down the track once the equipment fails.

Grit blasting with coarse abrasive particles is a common method for surface preparation that requires both an anchor pattern on the pipe's surface and a high degree of surface cleanliness.

Correct surface preparation by grit blasting increases the roughness of the surface as well as the coating's subsequent adhesion strength.

Grit blasting is also the only method that can completely remove all intact rust and millscale, and produce an even roughness with a controlled anchor pattern.

Most grit blasting users like to use a working mix of grit sizes. This means that they seek a mix of different sized grits, rather than one single grit size. Grit blasting with different grit sizes maximises blasting efficiencies, since different sizes have different impacts on the surface profile.

The working mix used depends on the specific profile that the user is looking to create – one user might want to create a smoother profile, while another may want to create a rougher profile.

Steel shot is a long-lasting abrasive, and is commonly used in surface finishing, but it does have some disadvantages.

Among these is the fact that it can produce flash rust, particularly in moist conditions, and this can cause the coating to fail if the flash rust is left on the surface. In addition, steel shot loses its shape and 'rounds-out' as it breaks down over time, leading to inconsistent characteristics on the surface. So if the profile is not constant throughout, the adhesion of the coating may suffer as a result.

A performance-enhancing alternative

While traditional grit blasting media such as steel shot is commonly used, the industry is also looking at alternative materials, such as aluminium oxide, for improved coating adhesion.

Fused brown aluminium oxide is an abrasive material with excellent abrasion properties, as well as high corrosion and chemical resistance (see Table 1).

It is typically available in macro grit sizes ranging from 12–240 grit. As it is low in iron, it leaves no rust on the surface which could cause potential problems in the future (see Table 2).

The material is also hard and relatively inexpensive; it is available in various hardnesses, although the 'softer' grades are unsuitable for grit blasting as they can shatter and produce dust which is not only ineffective but is detrimental to the coating process.

An additional benefit offered by aluminium oxide is that, unlike steel shot and other grit blasting materials, it can be reclaimed and recycled back to the aluminium oxide manufacturer, and most large-scale blasting operations systems collect the spent grit for this purpose.

US-based Washington Mills, has developed a 100 per cent closed-loop, waste-free, spent aluminium oxide grit recycling system.

The company collects spent grit and uses it to produce fused aluminium oxide. This closed-loop recycling process reduces disposal costs, liabilities and – the company claims – makes its aluminium oxide a very attractive blasting material.

Can Chandrababu Naidu start bauxite mining in AP?

Business Standard - September 22nd 2014,

In his two earlier stints as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu had turned the once sleepy capital city of Hyderabad into a major information technology hub. His impressive work was praised by many world leaders, including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Back in power after 10 years, Naidu has taken up the daunting task of opening bauxite mines in the state, amid opposition from various sections of society, political parties and Maoists.

Andhra Pradesh has the potential to emerge as a major centre of alumina and aluminium production, next only to Odisha. Of India's bauxite resources of 3.48 billion tonnes, Andhra Pradesh accounts for 18 per cent. As much as 52 per cent of the resources are found in Odisha, where the country's three aluminium groups-Hindalco, Vedanta and National Aluminium Company (Nalco) - are engaged in capacity expansion. These two major bauxite-owning states are facing a common and intractable problem of arriving at a consensus among all stakeholders, in terms of opening new big mines. Since the early 1980s, when Nalco had opened a mine at Panchpatmali hills in Odisha's Koraput district, with original reserves of 377 million tonnes (now depleted to about 160 mt), no new major bauxite deposits have been readied for exploitation.

In about a year, the Indian aluminium sector's capacity will stand at 4.36 mt. But much of the incremental capacity will have no raw material security, as opening of new mines is stalled by local citizens, invariably aided by non-governmental organisations and Naxalite violence. Vedanta's alumina refinery at Lanjigarh has faced the brunt of the stalemate in bauxite mine development. The company has to procure three mt of bauxite from different parts of the country, as well as from Guinea, for improving the quality of blended raw material. It is, therefore, natural that those in the sector are enthused by Naidu's bid to break the bauxite mining logjam. Without a doubt, a breakthrough in Andhra Pradesh and proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act will create ideal conditions for allocation of new deposits to deserving groups in all bauxite-bearing states. But the odds against Naidu are heavy.

In a petition to the chief minister, civil society has said bauxite mining in the state's Visakhapatnam district, which has reserves of 546 mt, will disturb the "fragile ecological system of the Eastern Ghats", where several rivulets originate. It adds if polluted rivulet water finds its way into the country's second-largest river, Godavari, agricultural production will be hit. The two communist parties, along with Maoists, have further stepped the up anti-mining campaign in bauxite-bearing zones.

But in a deft move, Naidu has been able to take the sting out of the Left's campaign by announcing he would assign the task of bauxite mining to the state's Integrated Tribal Development Agency, along with a public sector undertaking with experience in the field. It is clear to all he has Nalco in mind, the country's largest bauxite miner and producer and exporter of alumina.

Some years ago, the Andhra Pradesh government had allotted the Gudem and Katamraju bauxite deposits in Visakhapatnam district (85 mt) to Nalco. The allotment is subject to Nalco building a 1.4-mt alumina refinery in the downstream. In addition to the two deposits, the state had assured Nalco of extra bauxite supply of 25 mt from its own sources, ensuring bauxite supply security for 25 years. Though the company set out to do the mining-cum-refinery project in right earnest, due to sustained violent agitation by Maoists, it decided it would be wise to put the project on hold. Nalco Chairman Ansuman Das says he will wait for "Naidu magic to work. We will certainly do the project once the chief minister has his way".

Anrak Aluminium, a joint venture between Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (of the UAE) and Penna Cements, built a 1.5-mt alumina refinery through an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) that it would supply bauxite from its 225-mt Jerrala deposit. But APMDC could not keep its commitment, as the Centre froze all earlier clearances for bauxite mines development in August 2010.

Naidu's success will prove to be a blessing for Anrak.

Indigenous land use deal could derail Glencore's plans for Cape York bauxite mine

Mining Australia - September 22nd 2014,

Traditional owners of a bauxite lode at Aurukun have moved to block Glencore from developing the deposit in favour of a rival bidder.

Last month the Queensland government listed Glencore as the 'preferred proponent' for the Aurukun bauxite project in Cape York.

However traditional owners not happy with this decision have signed a historic Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Aurukun Bauxite Developments (ABD), which had also applied for the lease.

Partnering with ABD and Ngan Aak Kunch (NAK), the deal means the Wik and Wik Way native titleholders would hold a 15 per cent equity share in any ABD-led mining operation.

Wik Way traditional owner Gina Castelain said the deal cemented a co-ownership model that was lacking from the Glencore deal, ABC reported.

"What we really needed was ownership of the mine," she said.

"We want to have a real stake in the mine and to participate fully in the development of RA315 lease.

"We don't want just royalties and sit-down money anymore - we want ownership."

Castelain said the deal represented a great opportunity for the Wik and Wik Way people.

"For the first time in many decades we have a real prospect of independence, of full participation in the mainstream economy and culture.

"Into a depressing landscape of passive welfare dependency, substance dependency, violence and abuse, a distant light now shines and that is our Indigenous land use agreement with Aurukun Bauxite Development."

When the Queensland government handed the mine lease to Glencore, it noted that ABD failed to show it had the "technical and financial capacity'' to develop the mine.

However ABD chairman Nick Stump dismissed these claims at the time.

"Our investor base is in mining, barging and shipping and are not without practical experience,'' Stump said.

"I don't hold the view that it was always going to go to a major (company).''

On Friday, Stump said it was clear which company the native title holders wanted to partner with for the mine's development.

He said there were two issues in being granted the lease.

"One is with the State Government - that's their licensing provisions, and the other is with the native title holders," he said.

"The native title holders have today decided they want to put their future with ABD."

Wik traditional owner and NAK director Lyle Kawangka said the people of Aurukun had "waited generations" for the deal.

"Miners have been in and around our area since the 1960s, when large tracts of our land were excised for their benefit, dispossessing our people," he said.

"We've seen no flow-on effect to our communities of the wealth they generated from our lands – our job and household income situation is among the worst in the state.

"This agreement will change all that. The future holds so much more promise for our people now."

Queensland Indigenous Affairs Minister Glen Elmes said the land use deal changes the circumstances around the project.

"There was an agreement already in place with Glencore and the State [Government]," he said.

"If I were Glencore, I'd probably start talking to the people of Aurukun, but most importantly it's about the benefits that flow to the people of Aurukun."

Glencore cannot go ahead with the mine if it doesn't secure an agreement with native title holders.

Representatives from the company are set to travel to Aurukun to hold discussions on Wednesday.

Vedanta Aluminium aims to triple capacity

Reuters - September 21st 2014,

Vedanta Aluminium will triple its capacity by 2015 to 2.3 million tonnes to cater for an expected surge in demand in India, its managing director said, even though its inability to source enough alumina at home has forced it to import the raw material.

The company, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L), has been importing more than 1 million tonnes of alumina per year because plans to mine bauxite to feed its alumina refinery are on hold while the authorities look at opposition from people in Odisha.

Vedanta Aluminium's need for alumina, produced by refining bauxite, would nearly triple to 4.5 million tonnes in three years as it adds smelting capacity, Managing Director Sushil Kumar Roongta told Reuters.

"We'll have to continue importing alumina till my refinery starts operating at full capacity," said Roongta, referring to the 1-million-tonne-a-year alumina refinery that has been shut several times due to unavailability of bauxite.

"Vedanta's overall alumina demand is growing and is going to grow," he said in an interview in his Delhi office.

The company is also seeking to buy alumina from state-owned National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) (NALU.NS), India's largest alumina exporter, which ships out nearly the same amount as Vedanta Aluminium imports.

Nalco has so far refused to sell alumina at home, saying it was against company policy. Indeed, it was looking to raise alumina exports by 40 percent to 1.4 million tonnes this fiscal year, its production chief said in August.

Vedanta Aluminium officials say Nalco could effectively earn $40-$50 more per tonne of alumina by supplying to Vedanta instead of exporting, mainly on account of lower charges for logistics and port handling.

Nalco sold 30,000 tonnes of alumina at about $335 per tonne on a free-on-board basis to a Dubai-based buyer in June. The company awarded a tender to the Iran Aluminium Co in August to sell 30,000 tonnes of alumina, sources have said.

"While the country experiences an alumina deficit, the Middle Eastern smelters are benefiting from (Nalco's exports)," Barclays analysts wrote in a recent note.

"Nalco as an independent company should be free to decide its marketing strategy, but it adds another item to the list of contradictions of the Indian metals and mining universe," the analysts wrote.

Despite raw material shortages, Vedanta Aluminium is keen to add capacity based on expected aluminium demand in India.

The country's aluminium consumption is likely to rise to 5 million tonnes per year by 2015 from 1.6 million tonnes now, according to the mines ministry. India's per capita consumption of aluminium is 1.2 kg against the world average of 7-8 kg.

"Our expansion is not contingent upon what Nalco does," Roongta said.

Oman's Sohar Aluminium to boost production capacity

Reuters - September 18th 2014,

Oman's Sohar Aluminium plans to spend $35 million over the next five years to boost production capacity, chief executive Mohammed Al Masoudi told reporters on Thursday.

The work is expected to increase annual capacity by about 28,000 tonnes of primary aluminium, he said. The company currently produces 375,000 tonnes of primary aluminium a year in the form of hot metal, with two main local consumers.

Oman Aluminium Processing Industries takes 50,000 tonnes per year while Oman Aluminium Rolling Co takes 140,000-160,000 tonnes. A third major consumer of the output is being arranged, Masoudi said. Some of the production is exported.

Sohar Aluminium is Oman's biggest non-hydrocarbon industrial venture. Established in 2004, the $2.4 billion venture is owned 40 percent by Oman Oil Co, 40 percent by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, and the rest by Rio Tinto Alcan .

Indian aluminium down 0.3pct on weak demand

Metal Guru - September 18th 2014,

Press Trust of India Indian aluminium prices declined by 0.29% to INR 122.25 per kilogram in futures trade as speculators reduced positions amid weak demand in the spot market.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange, aluminium for delivery in September traded lower by 35 paise, or 0.29%, to INR 122.25 per kilogram in a business turnover of 182 lots.

Likewise, the metal for delivery in October shed 30 paise, or 0.24%, to INR 123.60 per kilogram in 30 lots.

Analysts said that offloading of positions by speculators due to sluggish demand in the spot market but firmness in base metals overseas, restricted the losses.

Sherwin Alumina Employees Negotiating to Prevent Strike

KiiiTV - September 18th 2014,

GREGORY (Kiii News) - Employees of Sherwin Alumina are negotiating with the company to avert a possible strike or lockout.

The 600 hourly and salary workers at the Gregory plant have been working with the company through their union since July 8 to come up with a new contract before a Sept. 30 deadline.

According to the United Steel Workers Union website, Sherwin Alumina is seeking to freeze benefit pensions, eliminate retiree healthcare and make big changes to active employee healthcare.

Sherwin Alumina officials responded to 3News' questions about the negotiations late Wednesday afternoon.

"There's just a bunch of proposals on the table that they're still discussing, and they will continue to exchange proposals and really get a fair agreement on both sides, because they're our family," said Sarah Barnes, public relations at Sherwin Alumina. "Our employees are our family."

"Today, what I heard from one of the guys, that a couple of the big things that were an issue have been ironed out, so it looks like they're getting closer," Sherwin Alumina Contractor Walter Brandt said.

The plant has been around for over 60 years and takes boxite ore and refines it for use in deodorant and many other products.

Jharkhand govt shuts 5 Hindalco bauxite mines

Business Standard Ltd - September 16th 2014,

SAIL, Tata Steel earnings to fall due to Jharkhand mine closure

The Jharkhand government has shut five bauxite mines of Hindalco Industries, flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. This follows a report by the Shah commission on illegal mining, which had alleged such mining was causing widespread damage to the environment and losses to the exchequer.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on Hindalco's Mahan mine in the coal block allocations case. The action against Hindalco follows similar moves by the Jharkhand government against Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Tata Steel. Jharkhand earlier ordered the closure of 12 iron ore mines and a few manganese mines in that state. These include SAIL's mines in Budhaburu, Durgaiburu, and Kiriburu-Meghahatuburu and Tata Steel's Noamundi mine.

In its report on Jharkhand, the Shah commission had said in 2000-2009, the royalty per million tonnes (mt) of iron ore was meagre, adding, due to this, the lessees had recorded windfall profits. "During the deemed extension when unlawful mining was carried out, the loss to the state is required to be compensated by recovery of value equivalent to the market rate or export rate, whichever is applicable in individual cases, with exemplary penalty after following due course of law," the report had said.

Analysts say assuming all Tata Steel and SAIL iron ore mines in Jharkhand are shut for the next six months and both companies import iron ore, their book values will take a hit of two per cent and six per cent, respectively. "We forecast incremental cost of importing iron ore of Rs 1,365 crore ($228 million) and Rs 3,885 crore ($648 million) in FY15 for Tata and SAIL; this will impact their profits after tax 18 per cent and 97 per cent, respectively," said a Goldman Sachs report dated September 8.

"However, if the Jharkhand government allows mining to start for steel producers, we expect the impact to be negligible. The actual impact could be less, given iron ore companies typically have inventory of up to 45 days," the report added. India's iron ore production declined from a peak of 219 mt in FY10 to 136 mt in FY13, primarily due to various regulatory and policy interventions.

In May, the Supreme Court had imposed a temporary ban on 26 iron ore and manganese leases (of a total of 56) operating on second and subsequent renewals in Odisha. It had directed the Odisha government to consider all renewal applications within six months. Subsequently, the state government had issued an order to restart mining for eight of the 26 affected leases, including four leases of Tata Steel, three of SAIL, and one of Odisha Mining Corporation.

While Tata Steel did not comment, a SAIL spokesperson said, "We are making efforts to get clearances for the mines from the Jharkhand government and till the time we do not have access to these mines, we will use the ore from our stocks."

He, however, declined to specify the stock levels and the period for which the stock would suffice.

"We also plan to source ore from other iron ore mines of SAIL," he added. In its report, the Shah commission had said if illegal mining was allowed to go on, it might lead to irreparable damage to the environment and if it was stopped, there might be irreparable damage to economic interest. "In case of doubt, however, protection of environment will have precedence over the economic interest," the commission had said.

Time ripe for Nalco to raise production?

Business Standard Ltd - September 15th 2014,

A public sector undertaking (PSU) is under compulsion to increase production year-on-year, irrespective of the state of the market. Braving this, National Aluminium Company (Nalco) Chairman Ansuman Das kept 335 of the 960 pots at its smelter idle during 2013-14. As a result, production stood at 316,000 tonnes, against 403,000 tonnes in 2012-13 and the all-time high of 444,000 tonnes in 2010-11. The production, however, finds justification on London Metal Exchange (LME) prices remaining stubbornly low last year and India recording 'negative growth' in aluminium demand. At one point last financial year, aluminium prices fell below $1,700 a tonne, leaving swathes of global smelting capacity unviable.

The main cost component of aluminium production is power. Nalco can restrict the share of energy in its total production cost to 32 per cent by using "mostly linkage coal" for power generation. With the company seeing futility in running its captive power plants with imported and auctioned coal, both much more expensive than linkage coal procured from the Mahanadi coal fields, power production fell to 4,989 million units in 2013-14 from 6,076 million units the previous year. Production discipline at smelter and power plants lifted Nalco's net profit by Rs 49 crore to Rs 642 crore.

How did Das manage to get workers at the Angul plant to agree to a cut in output, which made them forego portions of production-linked monetary rewards? A company official says, "The task was daunting. But Das decided to take the bull by the horns. He met workers and convinced them as long as global aluminium prices remained low, the Nalco smelter should use electricity generated only through linkage coal. Burning expensive imported coal to generate power and chase metal production would create a no-win situation for us. Workers found the logic convincing."

Now that the three-month LME aluminium price is at $2,040 a tonne on tightness in the physical market and continuing robust demand from financiers, it might be time for Nalco to consider raising smelter production. Also, the physical premia to be paid on the LME price for ready delivery of aluminium are likely to remain tight for all regions. Premia at record levels is as much due to low interest rates and continuing robust inquiries for physical metal in financing deals as industry leaders such as Alcoa and Rusal remaining engaged in idling high-cost capacity.

Das says, "The aluminium scene has changed for the better. The industry expects major capacity resting in and outside China and improved outlook for automobile, house building and packaging sectors will support aluminium prices at current levels. It is only natural that the metal price improvement will lead Nalco to consider whether more smelter production by stepping up electricity generation using non-linkage coal at this stage will prove bottom-line enriching."

This year, the aluminium sector outside China will decommission 1.5 million tonnes (mt) of smelting capacity. Closure of about three mt of high-cost and environment-damaging capacity in China, following an order from Chinese President Xi Jinping's office, will make the market balanced in that country. This is despite the higher-than-expected commissioning of new cost-effective capacity in the Xinjiang and Shandong provinces. Thankfully, the fact that Chinese aluminium production has risen 14 per cent in the first two quarters of 2014 to 13.448 mt on a year-on-year basis will not make that country an aggressive exporter of either primary metal or semis. For long, China has been discouraging the export of primary aluminium by charging a 15 per cent duty. Das says domestic consumption growing 14 per cent annually will ensure any incremental production being used in China itself.

Like Hindalco and Vedanta, Nalco wants to own smelter capacity of one mt. Das is firm the PSU will ideally build the second smelter in Odisha, provided it is allotted large coal deposits to produce "low-cost power. The alumina Nalco is exporting could be the feedstock for a 500,000-tonne smelter. To justify local use of alumina, we need ownership of coal mines. The deciding factor is power cost". Das argues India has large bauxite and thermal coal resources to emerge as a major aluminium production centre. The Indian aluminium sector has a capacity of 3.6 mt. From here, smelter capacity growth will depend on aluminium groups securing access to new bauxite deposits and coal blocks. "There has to be special dispensation for aluminium in coal block allocation," says Das.

Hindalco's five Jharkhand bauxite mines closed

Livemint - September 15th 2014,

The move is part of the centre's drive to shut mines that are functioning on deemed or temporary leases

Mumbai: Five of Hindalco Industries Ltd's bauxite mines in Jharkhand have been closed since 10 September as part of the central government's drive to shut mines functioning on deemed or temporary leases, a district mining official said on Monday.

"Hindalco and its subsidiary, Minerals and Minerals Ltd, have nine bauxite mines; I have got five of them closed," said D.N. Singh, district mining officer of Lohardaga in Jharkhand.

"The letter for closure came on 8 September and this was in accordance with the central government's amendment of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act in July, which says mines running on deemed leases must close," Singh added.

The closed mines are Hisri Old, Hisri New, Bhusar Kekrang, Bagdu Bhusar which belong to Hindalco, and Pakhar which belongs to Minerals and Minerals.

There are two other running mines also in Pakhar and two that are exhausted, Singh added.

Hindalco's spokesperson said the company did not want to comment.

An analyst said the closures will add to a scarcity of bauxite for the company, which is expanding its aluminium capacity to 1.3 million tonnes (mt) in order to capture markets in India and overseas.

"These five mines accounted for 45% of Hindalco's 2.23 mt bauxite production in Jharkhand," said Ritesh Shah, materials analyst at Espirito Santo Securities India Pvt. Ltd. "Hindalco's problems don't stop here; its Maliparbat bauxite mine in Odisha was closed on 29 August. Consequently, 35% of Hindalco's stand-alone bauxite sourcing is currently shut."

Another analyst said there was a chance the mines could be reopened.

"Looking at what the Odisha government did to reopen the mines of some large companies in a similar case, it is likely that similar express orders could be given out by the Jharkhand government as well," said Giriraj Daga, senior analyst at Nirmal Bang Equities Pvt. Ltd. "It may take about a month."

Daga said, usually, companies operate with stocks of 10-15 days, but in Hindalco's case, the company had not given any details on this.

In case the mines continue to remain closed, 3-4% could get shaved off from Hindalco's estimated stand-alone FY15 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of Rs.3,500-3,800 crore, Daga added.

Hindalco closed at Rs.163.40 on BSE on Monday, down 3.1% from its previous close, but up 45.5% from a year ago.

The exchange's benchmark Sensex lost 0.90% to close at 26,816.56 points.

Hindalco has invested around $5 billion over the last five years in new projects—Mahan Aluminium smelter in Madhya Pradesh and Utkal Alumina Refinery and Aditya Aluminium smelter in Odisha.

Hindalco's capacity is set to touch 1.3 mt, compared with 513,500 tonnes two years ago, according to data from the company and the mines ministry.

Cape Alumina recommends MetroCoal takeover offer

Proactive Investors Australia Pty Ltd - September 15th 2014,

Cape Alumina (ASX:CBX) directors have recommended that shareholders accept MetroCoal's (ASX:MTE) off-market takeover bid of 1 MTE share for every 1.3 CBX shares, in the absence of a superior proposal.

The offer represents a 35% premium to the 20 day VWAP for each Cape share and the independent expert has concluded is both fair and reasonable.

If the takeover is successful, the merged entity will hold extensive bauxite tenements in Cape York including the Bauxite Hills Project as well as interests in over 4 billion tonnes of thermal coal in the Surat Basin.

Cape's directors noted that successful development of Bauxite Hills will require significant additional funds in the short term, which MetroCoal is able to offer.

The combined company will also have better access to funding and better prospects for development.

Bauxite Hills has a 60 million tonne bauxite resource and is undergoing work to define its potential as a DSO operation. It is located just 5 kilometres southeast of the existing port and Skardon River and 95 kilometres north of Weipa.

Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX "Small and Mid-cap" stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

Guinea in Talks on $14 Billion Bauxite Mine Forsaken by BHP

Bloomberg L.P. - September 12th 2014,

China's Shandong Xinfa Aluminum & Electricity Group is in talks with Guinea to invest $14 billion in a bauxite project abandoned by BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), said a government official with knowledge of the matter.

Shandong Xinfa led a group that beat three other bidders in a government tender for the bauxite concession about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the capital Conakry, said the person, who asked not be identified as the information isn't yet public. The Boffa-Santou-Houda project would eventually see the group invest $14 billion over 15 years, the person said.

That investment is more than double the size of Guinea's $6.2 billion economy and would add to Rio Tinto Group's planned $20 billion iron-ore operation scheduled to start production in 2018. The West African nation, the world's largest exporter of the material used to make aluminum, is attracting interest as Chinese buyers seek new supplies and an Indonesian ban on bauxite shipments pinches global markets.

Shandong Xinfa is the main unit of Xinfa Group, the seventh-largest producer of aluminum last year, according to London-based researcher CRU. Zhao Pu, head of overseas investment with Shandong Xinfa, wasn't immediately available for comment. Other employees at the company's overseas investment office declined to comment.

BHP returned its mining permits for Boffa-Santou-Houda in 2012, saying in January of that year that it was halting exploration because aluminum prices had dropped.

Russia's Rusal considers joint project with China's Chalco

Thomson Reuters - September 10th 2014,

Russia's United Company Rusal Plc is exploring a joint project with China's top aluminium producer in Russia's Eastern Siberia, its deputy CEO told Reuters on Wednesday, after the Russian aluminium giant shelved its original plans in March.

The possible tie-up with Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) will be based on Eastern Siberia's rich mineral deposits, its hydropower potential and its closeness to China, said Oleg Mukhamedshin on the sidelines of a meeting of the World Economic Forum in China's northern city of Tianjin.

"We're considering a potential joint project in Eastern Siberia in Russia," Mukhamedshin said. "There's still quite visible stock in the market so it's not a project of the very short term, but in the medium term as the market will be in deficit, just to cover growing consumption, we'll consider this project."

Because of overcapacity in the global aluminium market and an ugly balance sheet, Rusal said in March this year that it had shelved Siberia plans for now. Rusal said in 2012 that it was looking for unidentified Chinese partners to develop a high-tech smelting plant in east Siberia.

In March last year, Rusal signed a memorandum of understanding with Chalco to replace outdated and high-cost production facilities in Eastern Siberia. This fits with China's hopes to replace old smelters to reduce pollution, despite the country's aluminium industry still being in overproduction, Mukhamedshin said.

Rusal also predicts this year's forecasted 1.5 million tonne global (excluding China) aluminium supply deficit will extend to 2017, Mukhamedshin said.

Last month, Rusal said it returned to profit for the first time in five quarters, and gave a bullish outlook for aluminium prices, driven by growing demand from carmakers and supply cuts outside China.

Rusal had earlier in the month completed a crucial restructuring of $5.15 billion in debt and has no payments due until January 2016. The deal gives it flexibility to pre-pay debt when cash flows are strong and pay less when London Metal Exchange prices fall.

Norsk Hydro to up aluminium output at Norway's Sunndal plant

Thomson Reuters - September 9th 2014,

OSLO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Norsk Hydro will increase its aluminium output at its Sunndal plant in Norway by 30 percent by the end of the year, the aluminium producer said on Tuesday.

"The Sunndal 3 production line currently produces 50.000 mt (metric tonnes)," the firm said in a message to the Nordic power bourse on Tuesday. "Hydro will start up 15,000 mt of annual primary aluminium capacity at its Sunndal 3 production line in November and December this year."

The firm wants to further increase its output by an additional 35,000 mt by mid-year next year. The Sunndal plant has an annual production capacity of 400,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche)

Vedanta Resources Plc plans to expand refinery capacity to 6 million tonnes per annum

The Economic Times - September 9th 2014,

BHUBANESWAR: Vedanta Resources Plc today said it plans to raise capacity of its Lanjigarh Alumina refinery to 6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore.

Talking to reporters after meeting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal said doubling of the present plant capacity to 2 mtpa would be done within a year of getting all the clearances.

Ramping up the capacity further to 6 mtpa would depend upon the availability of bauxite, a key raw material for making alumina, he said, adding that the company would be investing Rs 10,000 crore for the capacity expansion.

Vedanta, which had set up 1 mtpa refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district seven years ago, had been facing an acute shortage of bauxite and presently importing the raw materials from other states and countries to feed its plant. The company had to shut down the plant for some months due to shortage of bauxite in 2012.

The company's concern for the raw material had been compounded after Odisha government's plan to start bauxite mining from Niyamgiri Hills failed. "We have been getting bauxite from other countries and other Indian states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand," he said.

In its bid to overcome bauxite crisis, the company has already entered into a joint venture with L&T. India's largest infrastructure company had been allocated with two major bauxite reserves in the state. As L&T did not have a plant here, it was not given mining license.

Agarwal hoped that since they have a JV with L&T, the government would recommend ML (mining lease) in their favour. However, the state government was yet to take a decision in this regard, sources said.

"We are left with no option, but to pin hope on the bauxite reserve of L&T in order to run the company's refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district," Agarwal said.

Asked how can the company expand the refinery capacity when it is facing ore crisis, Agarwal said, "The capacity of the refinery would be expanded to 2 mtpa in the next one year. The plant would ultimately have a capacity of 6 mtpa with availability of the raw material."

Stating that the state government is keen to make raw material linkage for Vedanta's refinery, Agarwal said, "The state government has assured me of a lasting solution to the raw material problem faced by the company."

"We are talking to L&T, which has been allocated three bauxite mines, to tide over our raw material problem. Besides, we have also approached the Odisha government to give us two laterite mines, which would partially take care of our raw material needs. The state government has responded positively to our request," said Agarwal.

The raw material shortage has left Vedanta's smelter at Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda to limit its production within 25 per cent of their capacities.

The two bauxite deposits in hands of L&T together reserved 285 million tonnes of ore. While 245 MT of bauxite is reserved at Sijimali, L&T's other reserve at Kuturmali has 40 MT of bauxite. Both the mines remained unutilised ever since they were in hands of L&T.

Agarwal said with Vedanta's smelter becoming fully operational, about 100 more new industries can come up which could provide employment to a large number of youths in the state.

Asked about the opposition in the recent Gram Sabha on Vedanta's expansion plans, Agarwal said, "I have no such idea. But, media reports say that people want the plant here."

Orbite Aluminae completes first phase of alumina plant construction in Canada

Industrial Minerals - September 8th 2014,

By concluding the first phase of the construction project of its high purity alumina plant in Quebec, the Canadian company is on track to start producing alumina in 2015 through an innovative low-cost process, which uses a feedstock of aluminous clay; kaolin; bauxite; red mud; and fly ash.

Canada's Orbite Aluminae has completed the first phase of construction of its high purity alumina ( HPA) plant at Cap-Chat in Quebec, Canada.

The company has concluded the structural reinforcement of the HPA building and it is now ready to install the calcination equipment that was provided by Finland-based processing...

Construction starts on $575m aluminium plant

VietNam News - September 5th 2014,

Representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dak Nong Province and Tran Hong Quan Trading Ltd Company kick off the construction work on Dak Nong Power Plant in Aluminum Project, the first of its kind in Viet Nam.— Photo bizlive

DAK NONG (VNS) — Bulldozers yesterday began clearing the 114-ha site for the construction of the US$575-million Dak Nong aluminium smelting plant in this Central Highland province.

At the ground breaking ceremony for the project, Trade and Industry Minister Vu Huy Hoang said the plant would be the first of its kind in Viet Nam to produce aluminium bars and would play an important role in the sustainable socio-economic development of the Central Highlands.

Hoang added that the plant, with a capacity of 450,000 tonnes, would also play an important role in the comprehensive development of domestic bauxite exploitation and aluminum production projects.

Tran Hong Quan Trading Ltd Company is investing in the construction and development of the plant at Nhan Co Industrial Park in Dak R'Lap District, Dak Nong Province and is expected to be completed in two years.

The Nhan Co alumina project, which the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation will put into operation, will be supplying all materials for the plant. The project is divided into three phases. In the first phase, the plant is expected to achieve 150,000-tonne annual production capacity by 2016. In the second phase, the plant is expected to have a 300,000-tonne annual capacity by 2017. In the last phase, it is expected to have a 450,000-tonne annual capacity by early 2019.

Figures show that Viet Nam has the world's largest bauxite reserves, and Dak Nong alone has more than five billion tonnes. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is still in the process of exploration, with high hopes of finding around 11 billion tonnes in reserves.

Le Dien, chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, said this was the first aluminium project in Viet Nam with a domestic company as investor, and it was expected to play a key role in the socio-economic development of his province and the country as well.

Tran Hong Quan, the company director, said the Government has accepted the new aluminium electrolytic technology to be used in the project, and this was expected to attract more investors in the country's aluminium industry.

Last May 30, the Prime Minister issued Decision 822-QD-TTg, on tax exemption policies covering the Dak Nong project. The policies include four-year total income tax exemption from the time the plant generates taxable income; 50-per cent income tax exemption to take effect for nine years after the four-year total tax exemption period, and a 10 per cent tax rate to take effect for 30 years, after the nine-year 50-per cent income tax exemption in 30 years. — VNS

Bauxite Angola plans to resume mining in Guinea-Bissau

Macauhub - September 4th 2014,

The Bauxite Angola company plans to invest more than US$500 million in Guinea-Bissau, when it re-launches bauxite mining in Madina Boe, in the Gabu region of the east of the country, the chairman of the company said Wednesday in Bissau.

The company suspended its operations in Guinea-Bissau due to the coup of 12 April, 2012, which deposed the government at the time led by Carlos Gomes Junior.

Bernardo Campos was received Tuesday by Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira and, according to the Portuguese News Network, said "we expect investments in the port, in railways, in the road and mine itself could exceed US$500 million. "

"The port of Buba, in the region of Quinara, in the south, instead of just being a mining port is expected to have a terminal for commercial exploration, able to meet the needs of other countries like Mali, which has no direct access to the sea."

The chairman of Bauxite Angola said plans were also underway for other mining projects near the bauxite mines, specifically next to the border with Guinea Conakry. (macauhub/AO/GW)

China aluminium prices rise as Xinfa smelter said hit by outage

Shanghai Metals Market - September 3rd 2014,

HONG KONG, Sept 3 (Reuters) - A partial closure of capacity at an aluminium smelter in China has driven up domestic prices of the metal by as much as 4 percent this week, as investors scramble to compensate for an expected shortfall in supply.

Capacity from 400,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes went offline at the weekend because of an electrical fault at a unit of major metal producer Shandong Xinfa Aluminium Electricity Group in northwestern Xinjiang, the Shanghai Securities News said on Wednesday.

The closure has pushed up prices as investors bet on a near-term reduction in supply, with the most active aluminium futures contract in Shanghai up nearly 4 percent this week, to stand at 14,950 yuan a tonne on Wednesday.

Senior executives at company headquarters in the northeastern province of Shandong could not be reached by telephone for comment on the status of the unit, which has a total smelting capacity of 1.3 million tonnes.

The affected capacity of about 400,000 tonnes is likely to be closed for at least two months for repairs, said analyst Wang Chunhui at information provider SMM in Shanghai, as well as an official with a large state-owned aluminium smelter in China.

But the affected volume makes up just 1.7 percent of China's 23.72 million tonnes of operating aluminium smelting capacity, based on official aluminium output data for July.

"The impact would be gone next week...the affected capacity is small," said the source at the state-owned smelter, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Smelting capacity at the Xinfa unit is expected to rise almost 40 percent to 1.8 million tonnes by the end of this year.

Maaden begins production at $4bn aluminium smelter

Construction Week Online - September 1st 2014,

Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma'aden has announced that it began commercial production at its huge aluminium smelter in Ras Al Khair Industrial City on Monday (1 September).

The smelter is part of a huge integrated project at the city, which is 90km north of Jubail Industrial City and is run by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. It will refine bauxite from a mine at Al Ba'itha in the Qassim region, which is being transferred via the Kingdom's North-South Railway.

The smelter will be capable of producing 740,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. It was built by Bechtel and construction was completed last year. It has 720 furnaces and 4 pot lines, each of which is 1.2km long. More than 228,000m3 of concrete and 48,000 tonnes of steeel were used during its construction.

Bechtel had 14,000 employees working on the project during its peak and a total of 38,000 people working on it during its three-year lifespan.

Over 78mn hours were racked up during its construction and the project team worked two long stretches without a single workday lost to safety incidents: 32mn hours and 29mn hours.

Bauxite mining comes to halt at Hindalco mine

Business Standard Ltd. - August 29th 2014,

Bauxite mining by Aditya Birla owned Hindalco Industries has came to a grinding halt in the Mali Parbat area near Semiliguda in south Odisha's Koraput district with the district administration imposing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC.

The prohibitory orders have been clamped in the area on August 21 in the wake of tussle between pro and anti-mining groups over mining of bauxite by Hindalco.

The clash between the two groups had also occurred on January 10 this year. The supporters of the Mali Parvata Surakhya Samiti (MPSS), the tribal organisation spearheading the agitation, had damaged over 15 vehicles of the company that had entered the mines in the morning.

"Since the situation is tense, we have imposed prohibitory orders in the area," said sub divisional police officer (SDPO) of Sunabeda V M Rao. The situation is normal, he said. Company officials were not available for comment on the situation.

The anti-mining organization alleged around 40 villages under the Sorishapodar, Hundi, Dalaiguda and Pakhajhola panchayats in Similiguda block would be affected by the mining.

"We have demanded for immediate cancellation of the mining lease to the company," said an anti-mining campaigner. He said the water sources would be dried up due to bauxite mining in the area.

"The water sources for irrigation to raise the vegetables in the area will disappear if bauxite mining continues at Mali Parbat. Our livelihood will be robbed. So we are opposing mining atop the mountain", he said. On the other hand, the pro-mining groups said their livelihood is threatened due to halt in transport of minerals. The villagers of some of the villages were engaged in loading and unloading of the minerals and they have pitched for continuing mining.

Hindalco, the aluminum manufacturing company was granted the bauxite mining lease at Mali Parbat near Doliamba, about 20 km from Semiliguda in November 2007. The company obtained the lease for 20 years with mining capacity of 0.6 million tonne per annum. The actual mining activity had started through a contractor engaged by the company on May 2008.

Mining activity was going on smoothly for about two years until the locals started opposing in 2010. Mining operations have been disrupted intermittently due to sporadic protests by the agitating locals.