AluNews - August 2015

Vedanta Aluminium Odisha unit closure to impact 2,000 jobs

moneycontrol - August 28, 2015

Aluminium on Thursday said it has started the closure process of one of its production stream, which will lead to the Lanjigarh facility's output declining to half and impacting up to 2,000 jobs.

The mining conglomerate on Thursday said that the collapse in aluminium prices and lack of bauxite availability from Odisha had forced it to opt for a gradual closure of its Lanjigarh facility in the state.

"It is a gradual closure. With no visibility in terms of bauxite linkage, volatility in global metal prices and sharp fall in aluminium rates, we are pained to take this decision for the Lanjigarh facility," Vedanta Aluminium CEO Abhijit Pati told agency.

The company has started the process of partial closure and is closing one of the two streams, which will lead to a drop in the plant's production capacity by about half.

"This closure will take about two months and if such a situation persists then we will be forced to shut down the second stream as well, but I'm hoping that something can happen in the meanwhile," Pati said.

Vedanta's aluminium arm is one of the country's largest producers of the metal and operates the refinery, which has a capacity of one million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

On impact of the shutdown on jobs, Pati said it "will impact about 2,000 jobs, both direct and indirect." Vedanta Aluminium's Lanjigarh plant provides direct employment to 2,000 people and indirect to another 8,000. Pati urged the government to take a serious note of the issues facing the aluminium industry in the country.

"It is not only about taking decision, but also about taking when when the time is right. Here time is of essence," he added. In a BSE filing, the Anil Agarwal-led firm said, "While we continue to do our best to sustain the operations, we are severely constrained by this excessive cost burden on our Lanjigarh operations, but seem to be left with no choice to implement a gradual closure."

Aluminium prices globally have collapsed in the past few months and the current indications are that this trend will continue, the filing added.

"Our Lanjigarh operations have additionally been affected by the non-availability of bauxite from within the state of Odisha. As a result, our cost of production is significantly higher and is impacting the viability of our Lanjigarh operations," Vedanta said. Vedanta shares rose by 6.55 percent to settle at Rs 91.15 apiece on BSE.

Vedanta kicks off process to shut Lanjigarh refinery

Business Standard Private Ltd - August 26, 2015

Non-availability of bauxite from Odisha and the prevailing turmoil in global aluminium prices have forced Vedanta to initiate the process of shutting down its one-million tonne a year alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.

"We ran this unit with all commitment for nearly a decade, despite heavy odds. But with the current market turmoil, which is not likely to improve soon, and in the absence of access to bauxite from within the state, the plant is operating with a daily loss of Rs 3 crore. Hence, we are forced to initiate the process of gradual closure," said K K Dave, chief operating officer, Vedanta.

Dave had a meeting with the employees and other stakeholders on Tuesday including representatives of local communities. He said the refinery's closure would impact nearly 10,000 people directly and the region at large, as the company's corporate social responsibility initiatives included mid-day meal in 187 schools and the Vedanta Lanjigarh Hospital that provides free medical treatment.

The refinery's closure is bound to affect Vedanta's smelter operations at Jharsuguda. "In the absence of bauxite supply from Odisha, the current market dynamic has threatened our very survival. With a heavy heart, we are bound to take some steps which are going to be painful," said Abhijit Pati, CEO (aluminium), Vedanta.

Although Vedanta has not spelt a timeline for the refinery's closure, it is expected to take 15-20 days to complete the formalities. Vedanta had gone for a shutdown of the unit on December 5, 2012 ,amid lack of assured supply of bauxite. It, however, resumed the unit in July 2013.

All four units of Vedanta's aluminium business slip into operational losses

Live Mint - August 22th 2015

With an almost 18% fall in aluminium prices in the past six months on the benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME), all four aluminium smelting units of Vedanta Ltd have slipped into operational losses.

Abhijit Pati, chief executive officer of Vedanta Aluminium, said there are chances that the firm's operating profit will slip into the red this quarter.

The company has four aluminium smelting units—two at Jharsuguda in Odisha with an installed capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and 1.1 million tpa, and two units at Korba in Chhattisgarh with an installed capacity of 245,000 tpa and 345,000 tpa.

It is currently operating at a little less than 50% capacity utilization and there is a possibility of a further cut in production if LME prices keep falling.

Orient Abrasives rises on getting nod for enhancement of Bauxite Mineral production capacity

Live Mint - August 17th 2015

Orient Abrasives is currently trading at Rs. 27.40, up by 0.10 points or 0.37% from its previous closing of Rs. 27.30 on the BSE.

The scrip opened at Rs. 27.50 and has touched a high and low of Rs. 27.50 and Rs. 27.40 respectively. So far 8250 shares were traded on the counter.

The BSE group 'B ' stock of face value Rs. 1 has touched a 52 week high of Rs. 28.75 on 09-Mar-2015 and a 52 week low of Rs. 20.10 on 19-Aug-2014.

Last one week high and low of the scrip stood at Rs. 27.50 and Rs. 26.80 respectively. The current market cap of the company is Rs. 329.01 crore.

The promoters holding in the company stood at 25.52% while Institutions and Non-Institutions held 6.93% and 67.55% respectively.

Orient Abrasives has received clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, for enhancement of bauxite production capacity at the Kothariya bauxite mine and the Nandana I bauxite mine at Kalyanpur, Jamnagar, as well as the Avariyar II bauxite mine at Mevasa, Jamnagar.

The company enjoys the position of being the largest producer of Calcined and Fused Products in India. The company offers a wide range of Refractory and Monolithic products for the iron and steel industry and enjoys large domestic and international clientele.

Global Bauxite Mining Market: North America is expected to dominate the market by 2020

Industry Today - August 12th 2015

North America has the largest market share for bauxite mining owing to increased aluminum demand in the region. Europe and Asia Pacific region follows North America in bauxite demand. North America is expected to maintain its dominance in the forecasted period. Europe is expected to witness marginal growth. However, Asia Pacific region is expected to witness highest growth in the coming future owing to the increasing domestic demand from the automobile industries in the emerging markets of India, China and Japan.

Bauxite popularly known as aluminum ore is the major source of aluminum. Bauxite is a mixture of minerals such as gibbsite, boehmite and diaspore, iron oxides such as goethite and hematite, clay mineral kaolinite and some amounts of anatase. Bauxite are found majorly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions such as Africa, West Indies, South America, Australia, Asian countries such as India and China and some parts of Europe (in small quantity). Australia is the largest producer and exporter of bauxite globally, with five bauxite mine contributing more than one fourth of the global bauxite production. There are five steps involved in the extraction of bauxite starting with preparation of bauxite area, secondly, bauxite mining, crushing, ore transportation and lastly rehabilitation of land. On an average one square meter of land can extract one metric ton of aluminum.

Around 85% of bauxite mined globally is converted to alumina which is further used for the production of aluminum metal. Other major application of bauxite mining is for commercial purpose such as abrasives and refractory's. Automobile industry is the major end-user of aluminum metal owing to associated benefits of aluminum metals such as corrosion-free, high-density and lightweight features.

North America has the largest market share for bauxite mining owing to increased aluminum demand in the region. Europe and Asia Pacific region follows North America in bauxite demand. North America is expected to maintain its dominance in the forecasted period. Europe is expected to witness marginal growth. However, Asia Pacific region is expected to witness highest growth in the coming future owing to the increasing domestic demand from the automobile industries in the emerging markets of India, China and Japan.

Due to corrosion-free, high-density and lightweight features, aluminum metal is gaining its important in the automobile industries to manufacture lightweight vehicle parts. This is driving the global demand for bauxite mining. Additionally, growth in the transportation sector such as airplanes, trucks, railcars and marine is further expected to increase the global bauxite mining demand.

Owing to the increasing demand of aluminum by the automobile industry have influence the aluminum manufacturing companies to invest more in bauxite extraction business. Some of the major companies operating in the global clinical nutrition products market are Aluminum Corporation of China Limited, Access Industries, Tata Steel Europe Ltd., Halco Mining, Tajik Aluminium Company, Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Ltd., Queensland Alumina Limited, Nippon Light Metal Company, Ltd., Australian Bauxite Limited, Iranian Aluminium Company and Alumina Limited.

Key Points Covered in the Report
  1. Market segmentation on the basis of type, application, product, and technology (as applicable)
  2. Geographic segmentation
    • North America
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • RoW
  3. Market size and forecast for the various segments and geographies for the period from 2010 to 2020
  4. Company profiles of the leading companies operating in the market
  5. Porter's Five Forces Analysis of the market

India plans to build $2.6bn aluminium smelter in Iran

Trade Arabia - August 11th 2015

Top officials from Iran and India are scheduled to meet next week to discuss plans on construction of an aluminium smelter and a captive power plant project worth about $2.6 billion in Iran, said a report.

Tapan Kumar Chand, National Aluminium Company (Nalco)'s new chairman and managing director, will meet Iran's Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari in New Delhi, India, in a week to further discuss the matter, said an Iran Daily report, citing the Economic Times.

Nalco's idea to set up the 1-million-tonne capacity facility in Iran is driven by power shortages in India given that electricity accounts for 40 per cent of smelting costs, it said.

Chand said that Nalco would prefer a local partner who could supply cheap electricity to fire the smelter. For feedstock in the plant, the company will ship alumina from the Indian state of Odisha, it added.

The company has been planning to build the smelter since 2014, but had to hold back plans because of the sanctions on Iran.

Last month's conclusion of nuclear talks has encouraged the Indian government and companies to push for stepped-up trade with Iran.

Cheap aluminium imports force Balco to shut rolling business

Business Standard Private Ltd - August 10th 2015

Balco, part of Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd, has said it has shut down its aluminium rolling business due to "steep fall" in the prices of the metal besides dumping from China and falling margins.

The move to close down the rolling mill will affect 500 jobs directly and 200 indirectly.

Mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd, earlier Sesa Sterlite, holds 51 per cent stake in Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), while the remaining is held by the government.

"Due to the steep fall of prices in the market for Aluminium, Balco has decided to close down its Rolling Business, which was already reeling under pressure of huge scrap imports, dumping from China and falling margins," the firm had said in a statement last week.

Balco's Head Corporate Affairs BK Sriwastwa said the move will help in eliminating further losses, reducing the overall manufacturing cost, restructuring the overheads and thereby optimising the margins.

"The process has begun with consultations with all related stakeholders and is expected to be completed by early Q3 (October-December) of FY 2015-16," he added.

Balco's rolling mill was commissioned in 1982 and it provides direct employment to 500 people and in-directly to another 200, company sources said.

"The company has been already facing pressures due to raw material and power costs. Now the production cost of aluminium is around USD 2,000 per tonne, while the prices at the London Metal Exchange (LME) slumped to USD 1,600 a tonne leaving the us with no option but to shut down the mill," they added.

Balco produces around 30,000 tonnes per annum of rolled products like aluminium sheets and coils.

Railway Line To Transport Bauxite To Kuantan Port Mulled

BERNAMA - August 8th 2015

Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd (KPC) has proposed that the railway line be used to transport bauxite to the port to reduce air pollution.

Its chief operating officer, Datuk Khasbullah A. Kadir said the seven kilometre distance from Sungai Ular to Kuantan Port was more convenient as it was far from residential areas.

"Tansporting bauxite by train can reduce pollution along the route and areas near the port. A proposal has been sent to the Pahang state government and it is being considered," he told reporters after a ceremony to launch the use of 50 lorries to reduce pollution in Kuantan Port here, today.

Khasbullah said KPC had taken various initiatives to reduce pollution in Kuantan Port such as providing the lorries.

"We have spent about RM10 million to provide lorries to transport the bauxite from the store to the port. This reduces pollution as they operate only within the port area," he said.

The port will be divided into three zones namely the clean, the container and the bauxite zone so as not to interfere with the operation of other cargo.

He said the three zones would be installed with anti-dust fencing, provided with bauxite stockpile cover and a washing bay for the lorries.

"We also use broom machines, excavators and four teams of water sprayer to ensure that the area is always clean. It will cost us about RM2 million per month. We hope to see improvement within four months," he said.

Khasbulllah said the transport of bauxite to the port has to be stopped one day in advance to accommodate cruise vessels ferrying tourists.

Exclusive - NALCO seeks to set up $2.6 billion Iran aluminium complex

Reuters - August 7th 2015

India's National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) wants to set up an aluminium smelter and an associated power plant in Iran worth as much as $2.6 billion, its boss said, once sanctions against the country start to be lifted.

Tapan Kumar Chand will meet with India's foreign ministry officials and the ambassador of Iran in New Delhi next week to take things forward, he said in his first interview since being appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of NALCO last week.

Chand said he would prefer a local partner who could supply cheap power to run a 1 million tonne per annum smelter in Iran. NALCO would source alumina as raw material for the plant from its refinery in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.

NALCO's plans provide further evidence of how business ties are increasing between the two countries.

KIOCL, another Indian state-backed company, last month agreed to sell high-grade iron ore pellets to Iran in a deal potentially worth $200 million annually.

India and Iran had maintained a close relationship despite the U.S.-led trade restrictions over Iran's nuclear programme. Last month, Iran and six world powers reached a nuclear deal, clearing the way for an easing of sanctions on Tehran.

Chand said multi-year-low prices for aluminium due to an oversupply would not be a deterrent to the plans. Any new plant would take 2-3 years to complete and by then demand could improve given the nature of such cyclical industries, he said.

"Generally producers take the opportunity of such downturns to build up their plant capacities, so that as and when demand picks up they are in a position to cater to that," Chand said.

A consultant appointed by NALCO has also shortlisted Oman and Indonesia as destinations where it could set up a smelter. Nothing has been finalised, Chand said.

DEMAND, DIVERSIFICATION

India's per-capita consumption of aluminium is just about 2.2 kg, compared with 25 kg in China, according to industry data in India. But demand in the country is growing at an annual rate of about 11 percent against global growth of 6 percent.

Chand expects Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to expand power transmission networks, build new cities and extend the country's railway network to drive demand growth.

Indian aluminium producers, including NALCO, Vedanta Ltd, and Hindalco Industries Ltd, have the capacity to produce 2.9 million tonnes of aluminium a year. Chand said India's aluminium output was about 2 million tonnes last fiscal year and could rise to 2.4-2.5 million tonnes in the current year.

Aluminium prices are currently under pressure from a supply glut. Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange, for example, is near its lowest for six years.

NALCO, which also wants to diversify into nuclear power production, is nevertheless looking to strengthen its raw material supply chain.

It expects Odisha to give it a green light for a new bauxite mine in the next few months that will help it to start work on another 1 million tonne per annum alumina plant at a cost of about $867 million.

The company, which has the capacity to produce 2.28 million tonnes a year of alumina from naturally occurring bauxite, is also in talks with officials in Modi's home state of Gujarat to set up another 1 million tonne a year alumina refinery there, Chand said.

"You can't remain at the same place," he said. "If you don't grow, competitors will start growing and you will be squeezed out of the market."

($1 = 63.8531 rupees)

No plans to halt bauxite mining

New Straits Times - August 6th 2015

THE Pahang government has no plans to immediately shut down bauxite mining operations here despite reports of the hazards to public health and environment.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said a shutdown order could not be issued as "issues like loss of income for landowners, mining workers, including lorry drivers, needed to be considered too".

"But our main concern is to protect the health of the people and the environment."

Adnan said the state Department of Environment (DoE) had, on Monday, sent samples of earth, water and bauxite to the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) headquarters for analyses to verify the radiation levels as reported in the New Straits Times (NST).

"The result will only be known in a month. We cannot say for certain now whether the radioactive levels are safe.

"For the time being, we allow the mining operations to continue."

Asked if the mining operations would be closed down if the result from AELB showed hazardous levels from radiation, Adnan said.

"We will cross the bridge when we come to it.

"We may need an in-depth study if the findings from AELB show a high level of radioactivity from the bauxite mining."

Adnan said the state government had earned RM37 million from the five per cent royalties imposed on the revenue from bauxite mining.

The NST had run a series of articles over the past three days based on surveys and laboratory findings of contaminations in a stream and sea waters off here.

Among the findings were elements of heavy metals, arsenic and radiation, which were tested to be above permissible levels when water samples from areas near mining operations were analysed at an independent laboratory.

Adnan thanked the newspaper for highlighting the issue and said the NST reports would help the state government in tackling the problem and educate miners to be more careful in their operations.

"We have not kept quiet (when the reports were published) as we are trying to gather more information on the matter. "We are not denying the findings (made by NST) but we are trying to establish the facts.

"The state government appreciates the coverage and criticisms as this will help us handle the problem," he said during a break in the state executive council meeting at the Pahang Foundation Complex here.

State Public Amenities and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak said his statement on May 26 on the safety of water off Kuantan as a result of the so-called "red sea" phenomenon brought about by bauxite mining was based on facts.

He said the samples were sent for analysis at the state Chemistry Department on May 15, a day after the phenomenon happened.

"The results showed that the elements of contamination in the water were still within the permissible levels under the stipulated standards. There were no traces of heavy metals as of May 15, when the samples were tested."

He said DoE was monitoring the situation and that the most recent analysis of the water showed the contents of contamination remained above the permissible levels.

"However, the quantity of contamination is dropping."

Vinacomin insists on environmental tax reduction for bauxite projects

VIETNAMNET Bridge - August 5th 2015

The Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) has asked for a 90 percent reduction in the environment tax for bauxite projects in the Central Highlands.

Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon has quoted a source from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) as saying that Vinacomin made the proposal at a workshop discussing the amendment of environmental protection policies.

The current environment tax applied to bauxite projects is VND30,000-50,000 per ton. Vinacomin has proposed to lower the tax to VND4,000 per ton.

"The wanted a tax rate of VND4,000 which was applied to soil and sand exploitation for building materials," the source from MOF said.

Vinacomin argues that the bauxite exploitation is simple work: it is just necessary to shovel the thin layer of soil, get ore and then put soil in again.

Bauxite ore and the soil covering it are soft, therefore, there is no need to use mines during the exploitation.

Vinacomin believes that the pollution level caused by the bauxite ore exploitation is low, and the company deserves a lower environment tax rate.

Vinacomin successfully asked for investment incentives for the two bauxite projects in the Central Highlands. The investor asked for lower investment in the reservoir with red mud because it was considered safe.

Vinacomin now can enjoy preferences in five kinds of tax, including a land rent reduction, equipment and fixed asset import tax exemption, component and material imports for Tan Rai alumina project in Lam Dong province, and an alumina export tariff reduction to zero percent.

Despite the huge tax incentives, the two projects will only see losses from 2016 to 2020 as reported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to the National Assembly's Steering Committee in March.

Dr. Ho Uy Liem, a renowned scientist, noted that the two projects in the Central Highlands aim to stimulate the local economy, and in order to reach that goal, the projects need to be profitable.

If the projects can make a profit, the investor would be able to pay higher taxes to the state and the local authorities, which could use the money to build houses, schools, hospitals and roads in the region.

Meanwhile, Dr Dang Trung Thuan, chair of the Vietnam Geochemistry Association, said that soil rehabilitation after the bauxite ore exploitation is not as simple as Vinacomin says.

The expert also warned about water pollution in the rainy season and red mud dust in the dry season caused by mining projects.

In the rainy season, the heavy rain the Central Highlands would sweep away soil, thus badly affecting the quality of the water running into the lower course.

Large explosion rocks southeast Missouri aluminum plant

The Indian Express [P] Ltd - August 5th 2015

A massive explosion has rocked a southeast Missouri aluminum plant, injuring some workers and creating a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles. The explosion and fire occurred around 12:30 PM (local time) yesterday at the Noranda Aluminum plant near the town of Marston in New Madrid County, about 170 miles south of St Louis.

Noranda spokesman John Parker said all workers had been accounted for and there were no life-threatening injuries. He said some people suffered what appeared to be non-critical abrasions, dust irritation or smoke inhalation. Parker said one of the injured workers was taken to a hospital for treatment. Others were treated at the scene.

Parker said a molten metal explosion occurred in the cast house of the plant, where the company produces extrusion billet, a length of metal with a cylindrical shape. Production in the cast house was suspended, Parker said, but work continued at the rest of the facility. Noranda employs about 900 workers in New Madrid County. Parker said about 20 people were working in the area where the explosion happened. The cause is under investigation.

Noranda, based in Franklin, Tennessee, is an aluminum producer with six plants in the US and one on Jamaica. The Missouri plant is the company's primary aluminum smelter. The company's website says the plant produces about 263,000 metric tons of primary aluminum annually, roughly 15 per cent of all US aluminum production as of 2009.

Tiwai Point smelter safe until 2017; Meridian still sole supplier

Share Chat - August 3rd 2015

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will remain open, with Meridian Energy remaining its sole electricity supplier at an undisclosed but somewhat improved electricity price for about 30 percent of the smelter's total consumption.

Meridian had hoped to convince one or more of its rival electricity suppliers to take up the slack on the 572 Megwatt contract to supply the smelter at heavily discounted rates, but in the end was only able to gain support at arms' length through a hedge contract with Contact Energy for 80MW of that total.

In a statement to the NZX, Meridian chief executive Mark Binns said the company was "disappointed New Zealand Aluminium Smelters was unable to reach an agreement with other parties" but "believes the new arrangement provides pricing for 172MW that is more in line with market expectations."

NZAS chief executive Gretta Stephens said the agreement "crossed a hurdle" that gave "more certainty about our immediate future," but gave no assurance about the ageing smelter's long term future as global aluminium prices remain below the Bluff smelter's cost of production.

"The agreement provides short term security for the smelter and allows time for market fundamentals to improve," she said. "Our combined electricity and transmission prices are still not internationally competitive."

The smelter's owners, Rio Tinto and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo, renegotiated the smelter's electricity contracts in 2013, using the fact the government wanted to sell 49 percent of its three state owned power companies as a bargaining chip to overturn a 30 year contract signed in 2007, prior to the global financial crisis and a collapse in metal prices.

That agreement is believed to price the smelter's 572MW of supply at around $45 per Megawatt hour, compared to prices between $60 and $70 per MWh commonly charged to other industrial electricity users. It had a break point at July 1, extended to Aug. 3, this year allowing NZAS to declare whether it intended to continue operating the smelter and giving Meridian the option of shedding 172MW of the 572MW contract, so that it could sell it more profitably elsewhere.

In the end, however, Meridian was unable to lay the additional generation off to other parties. Instead, Contact Energy has entered into a four to 14 year financial hedge contract with Meridian to cover 80MW of the smelter load, with "provision of associated risk management from meridian to contact under certain limited circumstances."

The smelter retains rights to announce a shutdown, with a year's notice, with the first notice date being Jan. 1, 2017.

Genesis Energy has made no statement on any involvement in contract support, despite being widely tipped as a likely source of new supply.

"While other generators have differing views as to the impact of a smelter exit on their competitive position, Meridian has been able to gain sufficient support from some parties to warrant it covering this extra volume from 2017," said Binns of the refreshed contract terms, which run through to 2030.

Century Aluminum to shut down Ravenswood smelter immediately

Reuters - July 28th, 2015

Century Aluminum said it will shut its Ravenswood smelter in West Virginia immediately as it had failed to secure competitive power supply amid tough market conditions.

Aluminium producers are seeing their profits dwindle due to sinking prices of the metal, which are currently near six-year lows. Premiums, a surcharge received by producers for delivery of metal, have also more than halved this year.

The Ravenswood smelter has been idled since February 2009.

"The decision to permanently close the Ravenswood plant is based on the inability to secure a competitive power contract for the smelter, compounded by challenging aluminum market conditions largely driven by increased exports of aluminum from China," Century said in a statement late on Monday.

"As a result, the economics of restarting and operating the facility are unfavorable," it added. Century is controlled by Swiss commodities trade house Glencore.

The combined impact of stronger output and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in top producer China has sent a market surplus in aluminium ballooning this year, a quarterly Reuters poll showed earlier this month.

Producers, including Alcoa Inc and Rusal, have recently blasted China's swelling exports as a factor behind plunging primary aluminium prices. China's exports of semi-finished aluminium, used in beer cans and window frames, grew by 30 percent in the first half.

Asked if he was considering launching a trade case against China, Alcoa Inc Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld said earlier this month the company was considering all options.

Rusal has also raised China's swelling aluminium exports with the Australian government, and wants the issue tabled at the next meeting of the world's top customs body.