AluNews - July 2010

The soul of Ravenswood, W.Va., is in aluminum
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 31-Jul-2010
Ravenswood facility is a smelter, making aluminum from alumina ore. Capacity is about 187340 tons annually. ...
Click on the headline above to read the whole article

Vedanta May Mine Bauxite at India's Orissa by Year-End, Defying Protestors
Bloomberg - Jul 29, 2010
Vedanta Resources Plc, battling criticism from environmental groups and some shareholders over plans to extract bauxite in India’s Niyamgiri mountains, said it may begin mining at the site as early as the end of the year.
“All is going well,” Vedanta Chief Executive Officer Mahendra Singh Mehta said in an interview in London. “It shouldn’t take more than three weeks for the government to decide” on approvals after it receives an environment ministry report scheduled for this month.
The mine, key to Vedanta’s plans to meet its targets to expand refining, has been delayed for more than four years as human rights and environmental groups raised concerns about pollution and the effects on the local tribal community. Vedanta on Feb. 9 said it “strongly” denied Amnesty International’s allegations that residents in the region have been displaced.
Some shareholders also protested against the company’s handling of the affair, with 12.8 percent voting against the remuneration report at the July 28 annual general meeting. Aviva Investors, the fund unit of the U.K.’s second-largest insurer, said it would vote against three resolutions.
Dutch pension fund PGGM said on July 7 it sold 13 million euros ($17 million) of Vedanta stock and the Church of England offloaded its shares in February.
“Certain NGOs complain that the consultation isn’t complete and human rights issues are raised,” Mehta said. “The fact is that the project has undergone a very vigorous consultation process. We are very positive; it’s taking longer time, no problem. We are in the final approval stage.”
‘No Habitation’
India formed a panel to investigate the potential effect of mining on tribes and wildlife in Orissa, reviewing earlier reports on use of forest land, the Ministry of Environment and Forests said June 30. It would offer findings within 30 days.
“There is no habitation on and near the proposed mining area,” Mehta said. “They are reviewing it once again so nothing is left out.” The hills around the site are about 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) high and nobody lives in the area because there aren’t any bodies of water or vegetation, he said.
Vedanta plans to transfer bauxite from the mine to its alumina refinery, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the hills, through a pipeline, Mehta said in an interview on July 28. Aluminum is made from alumina refined from bauxite.
“Laying a conveyor from the mine to the refinery will take about 3-6 months,” Mehta said. “Normally the bauxite transportation is done by trucks, which creates pollution; this is a very environment-friendly way.”
Bauxite in the hills, totaling about 80 million metric tons, is 1 or 2 meters from the surface and the “best in its class in the world,” he said. “You just scrape the surface, no blasting is needed. It could be converted to alumina at a cost far lesser than any of the bauxites in the world.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at

Japan offers to invest in Indonesian aluminium smelter
SteelGuru - Friday, 30 Jul 2010Reuters reported that a consortium of Japanese investors has offered to invest USD 367 million to expand an aluminium smelter in Indonesia, an effort to maintain their majority ownership as Indonesia wants to increase its stake.
The government will soon kick off negotiations with Nippon Asahan Aluminium a consortium of 12 Japanese firms over the fate of an aluminium smelter in Sumatra Island after 30 year ownership contract expires in 2013.
(Sourced from Reuters)

Smelter workers fear job cuts impact
ABC Online - 30-Jul-2010
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) says moves to slash 100 jobs at the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter in the New South Wales Hunter Valley have created a climate of fear and uncertainty amongst workers.
Hydro wants to trim its workforce through natural attrition due to a huge rise in electricity costs under a new contract for the plant.
Hydro's power bill will rise by more than $30 million under the contract.
AWU spokesman Richard Downie says the issue has become a sticking point in negotiations for a new collective agreement.
He says some sections of the plant are already undermanned and further cuts could pose a health and safety risk.
"We hope we can continue to have discussions before even getting into negotiations with the company to at least alleviate the fear that is on site," he said.
Job shedding is part of Hydro's drive to achieve cost savings in its global operations since its new smelter in Qatar, the world's biggest, came online and set new benchmarks for efficiency.

First Bauxite Corporation Announces Positive Feasibility Study Results for Its ... MarketWatch (press release) - Jul 29, 2010
FIRST BAUXITE CORPORATION ("First Bauxite" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: FBX)(FRANKFURT: FBI)(BERLIN: FBI) is pleased to announce the positive Feasibility Study ("FS") results for its 100% owned, Bonasika refractory grade bauxite project (the "Project") located in Guyana, South America. The FS was based on the bauxite reserves of the Bonasika 1, 2 & 5 deposits, which are within the Bonasika Mining License. In addition a NI 43-101 Compliant Mineral Resource estimate was also completed for the Upper Waratilla-Cartwright ("UWC") deposit located within the Waratilla-Cartwright Prospecting License ("WCPL"). Met-Chem Canada Inc ("Met-Chem") of Montreal, Canada was the lead author of the FS with participation and contribution of several industry experts and consultants.
The FS commenced in September 2009 and has considered all aspects related to development of the Project, including in-situ geology, mining, metallurgy, processing and engineering, economics, marketing, social and environmental considerations. The Feasibility Study defines and confirms the viability of an operation based on sequential mining of the three (3) bauxite deposits located on the Bonasika Mining License by open-pit, truck and excavator mining, with the mined ore trucked for processing at a central wash plant facility located less than 2 km from the Bonasika 1 & 2 pits. The wash plant concentrate will be transported 23 km to the sintering plant and load out facilities at Sand Hills. The Mine will operate at a production rate of 298,500 metric tons ("tonnes") of raw, dry bauxite per year or 1,148 tonnes per day, the wash plant will produce 162,232 tonnes of washed bauxite concentrate and the two vertical pressurised shaft kilns will produce 100,000 tonnes per year of sintered bauxite final product. The Bonasika proven bauxite reserves support a mine life of 8.4 years at an average cash operating cost of US$182 per tonne of sintered bauxite.

Rio Tinto, Chinalco to develop $1.35-billion Simandou iron ore project
domain-B - 29 July 2010
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto and China's state-owned aluminum giant Chinalco today signed their first ever joint venture, to develop Rio's 12-billion Simandou iron ore-project in Guinea, the world's third-largest mining area, after Australia's Pilbara and Brazil's Carajas.
The joint venture agreement was signed today between Rio Tinto and Chinalco's liste- subsidiary Chalco.
The strategic importance of this deal for China is reflected in the choice of the venue where the pact was sealed - none other than Beijing's seat of government, the Great Hall of the People, and attended by China's commerce minister Chen Deming, and other senior government functionaries, Chinalco chairman Xiong Weiping, Rio Tinto's chairman Jan du Plessis and chief executive Tom Albanese and government officials from China, Guinea, the UK and Australia.
In March 2010 Chinalco and Rio Tinto had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture to develop and operate the Simandou iron ore project covering rail, port infrastructure and the mine.

Russia's RUSAL says VEB approves $1.7 bln loan
Reuters Africa - Jul 29, 2010 7:47am GMT Print | Single Page[-] Text [+] MOSCOW July 29 (Reuters) - The world's top aluminium producer UC RUSAL (0486.HK: Quote) said state-run lender VEB had approved a 50 billion rouble ($1.66 billion) loan to help it complete the construction of a smelter and power plant.
VEB will provide a loan of 28.1 billion roubles with a tenor of 16 years for the completion of the construction of the Boguchany Hydropower Plant with a design capacity of 3,000 megawatts, RUSAL (RUAL.PA: Quote) said on Thursday.
It will also lend 21.91 billion roubles for 14 years to complete the construction of the first start-up complex of the Boguchany Aluminium Smelter (BoAZ) and infrastructure facilities.
The assets and shares of the companies involved in the project known as Boguchany Energy and Metal Complex, or BEMO, will be pledged as loan collateral, it said.
RUSAL started building the $2.3 billion BoAZ, with a design capacity of 600,000 tonnes of the metal per year, in partnership with state-controlled hydroelectric company RusHydro (HYDR.MM: Quote) in 2007.
UC RUSAL postponed the smelter project when commodity prices tumbled in 2008.
The first start-up complex, which will have a capacity of 147,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, is 30 percent complete, and construction will resume in September with a view to launch in 2013.

Bacteria makes a meal of bauxite
Gladstone Observer - 29th July 2010
Scientist Naomi McSweeney works on her project to identify a new type of bacteria.
Former Yeppoon woman Naomi McSweeney has discovered a new species of naturally-occurring bacteria that has the potential to save the alumina and aluminium industries millions of dollars.
Naomi, 26, is now a leading scientist and discovered the new bacteria species during a collaborative project between Alcoa of Australia, CSIRO and the University of Western Australia.
What she found was a potentially new genus of Proteobacteria and a new species of the known genus Halomonas.
The bacteria can successfully break down and remove sodium oxalate, an organic impurity produced during the refining of low-grade bauxite into alumina.
The work was recently presented for the first time in public through Fresh Science, a national competition for early-career scientists.
Naomi, the daughter of Yeppoon businesswoman Ros Adamus, was one of 16 winners from across Australia.
At a typical refinery, sodium oxalate forms by the tonne during the production of alumina. It can affect the colour and the quality of the final product.
“Oxalate can be removed by combustion, but this process releases excess carbon dioxide,” Naomi said.
“The impurity may also be stored but this represents a major cost to refineries so treatment is a preferred option.”
Alcoa of Australia has designed and installed an innovative large-scale bioreactor which has the capability to remove about 40 tonnes a day of sodium oxalate produced at its Kwinana refinery south of Perth in Western Australia.
“Using bacteria to break down and remove oxalate is a better, more sustainable alternative.”
The bacterial process breaks down the sodium oxalate and produces significantly less carbon dioxide whilst avoiding the need to store the impurity.
Naomi has worked with researchers from Alcoa’s global Technology Delivery Group and the CSIRO’s Light Metals Flagship to identify the main bacteria involved in degrading the oxalate within the bioreactor.
“Oxalates, and bacteria that feed on them, are common in nature – for example in our food, in our guts and in the root systems of plants such as rhubarb,” Naomi said.
The bacteria doing most of the work in the bioreactor have never been found before.
To enhance the efficiency of the bio-removal process, the researchers are now determining the best conditions for growing these bacteria.
Alcoa is seeking to apply the process to other refineries around the world, and hopes it will be able to use it to treat previously stockpiled oxalate.

DJ Century Aluminum Working To Secure Helguvik Financing, Power Contracts
Trading Markets (press release) - 28 Jul 2010
LONDON, Jul 28, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --
Century Aluminum Co. ( CENX | PowerRating) is working to secure financing and power supply contracts for its planned Helguvik smelter project in Iceland in order to restart construction of the plant, the company's Chief Executive said late Tuesday.
The U.S. aluminum producer halted construction at Helguvik last year after the global financial crisis make financial backing of the project difficult.
"The financing and other preparations for our new smelter at Helguvik are proceeding," said Logan Kruger. "Final negotiations on amendments to our Helguvik power supply contracts will be a primary factor in determining the timing of the restart of major construction and engineering activity," he added.
In September, Century said it had appointed BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and ING Bank NV to serve as exclusive structuring banks in order to raise project financing from the international debt markets.
Century in 2006 signed a memorandum of understanding with two Icelandic geothermal power producers for the supply of energy to produce up to 150,000 metric tons a year of aluminum in the first phase, rising ultimately to 250,000 tons a year.
But last August, Century said it planned to construct the smelter in four 90,000-ton phases that will eventually yield an annual production capacity of 360,000 tons.
By Andrea Hotter, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9413;

Hydro Profit More Than Doubles, Boosted by Surging Aluminum Prices
Bloomberg - Jul 27, 2010
Norsk Hydro ASA, Europe’s third- largest aluminum maker, said second-quarter profit more than doubled after prices for the metal surged 50 percent.
Net income jumped to 503 million kroner ($82 million) from 211 million kroner a year earlier, Hydro said in a statement today. Sales rose 12 percent 19.8 billion kroner.
“We will raise our estimates on the back of this report,” Samir Bendriss, head of research at Pareto Securities ASA in Oslo, wrote in a note today. “The stock should move up.”
The company rose 1 percent to 35.30 kroner by 10:18 a.m. in Oslo trading. Realized aluminum prices in the quarter averaged $2,200 a metric ton, up from $1,468 a year earlier, it said.
Hydro is seeking to boost profit margins by cutting power costs after slashing output 26 percent last year on increased electricity charges and weakening demand. The company will spend 260 million kroner building an aluminum recycling plant that uses 5 percent of the energy needed for a regular smelter. Rising global output will exceed demand this year, it said.
The aluminum maker hedged most of its production until the end of 2011 at a price of $2,400 a ton, the company said.
Hydro has sold forward “substantially all of its primary” aluminum production for the third quarter at about $2,175 per ton, excluding production from Qatalum, its joint venture unit in Qatar, it said. Qatalum reached 48 percent of its full production capacity at the end of June, the company said.
Hydro forecasts earnings from alumina and raw materials businesses to fall in the second half on lower prices.
The second quarter profit missed the 602.1 million-krone average of seven analyst estimates Bloomberg compiled.
To contact the reporter on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at

Clean bill of health - 27-Jul-2010
f your reactive maintenance bill is accounting for more than 5% of your scheduled plant maintenance cost, something is drastically wrong with your plan.
Operating without unexpected shutdown is the ultimate demand of petrochemicals and refinery operators, as a week of down time could cost a facility up to US$10m, and being down may impact other phases of the production chain. Some parts of the refinery or the plant are subject to frequent failure compared to others, due to different reasons including lack of servicing as per specifications, which often results in part failure.
To avoid these failures, a "turnaround" period is generally planned, which is a periodic inspection and overhaul of the units of a refinery or chemical plant, including safety checks, preventive maintenance, and repair. "It typically requires the shutting down of all or part of a refinery or chemical plant for a period of up to several weeks," says Hussain Ali Mattar, plant engineer at Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA) and member of the gulf maintenance association.
Maintenance is pretty wide concept and normally consists of three types of maintenance including predictive, reactive and proactive maintenance. "Maintenance strategy would involve a combination of predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance," says Ganesh Pattabhiraman, services direct at Emerson.
Proactive maintenance is a strategy for stabilizing the reliability of a refinery. Its central theme involves directing corrective actions aimed to at root causes of failure, not active failure symptoms, faults, or machine wear.
The reactive maintenance is a form of maintenance in which equipment and facilities are repaired only in response to a breakdown or a fault. Because of the potential for loss of production, reactive maintenance is at odds with just-in-time production, which is generally called as a fire fighting maintenance. Meanwhile, the predictive maintenance (PdM) is the technique which helps to determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance should be performed.
With all these options between the hands of plants and refineries operators, views of maintenance experts differ from company to another. "We recommend proactive maintenance strategies where operators can work with specialist industrial cleaning contractors to ‘out engineer' their fouling problems," says Mike Watson, technical director at Tube Tech. "Operators need to put aside the cost in order to look at new innovation because heat exchanger technology and the cleaning methods used to clean heat transfer equipment are often 60+ years old. It is time for a change - time for speculative investments to be made in order for larger profits to be accumulated in the mid to long term," he explains.
Meanwhile, other companies prefer predictive maintenance, as it offers cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, because tasks are performed only when necessary. "Best in class companies rely a lot more on predictive maintenance than on preventive or proactive maintenance put together. The goal should be to keep reactive maintenance to the minimum, say 5% or lower," says Pattabhiraman.
All parts of a refinery or petrochemicals plant are subject to failure. "Failures generally occur in rotating and fixed equipment. Both are managed through a site's reliability and inspection efforts. Emphasis is placed on health and safety, environmental impact and, lastly, lost production," says Fred Mackie, senior consultant for Solomon Associates.
Mechanical equipments are subject to frequent failure compared to automatic. "Frequent failures happen in mechanical equipment, typically rotating machinery. Among the devices, more frequent maintenance is required in control valves as compared to instruments," explains Pattabhiraman.
Furthermore, the plant which is most often deemed impossible to clean include crude heat exchangers, furnace tubes, convection fins on furnaces and hairpin (u-tube) heat exchangers. "The reason for this is because the technology to clean them is not available other than through a specialist industrial cleaning contractor," observes Watson.
To avoid these eventual failures related to rotating equipmen, on line measurements as well as tools to analyze the measurements are available, this includes vibration monitoring, as well as temperature and corrosion monitoring. "There are excellent analysis tools and packages that use these measurements to provide early warning on an impending failure. This helps the maintenance team an opportunity to address the root cause before the problem becomes serious enough for the equipment to fail," says Pattabhiraman.
With the development of technology, today's digital smart instrumentations have built-in diagnostics to monitor the health of the devices. For instance, a smart positioner used with control valve can detect travel deviation, supply pressure loss (resulting from leakage), excessive friction and many other useful information, while it is still on line and working. "Some devices go beyond monitoring just their own health. They are capable diagnostics of such as impulse lines, primary elements, temperature sensors etc. There are yet others, that can provide early warning of a process upset," he adds.
In addition, wireless technology has made it possible to economically bring more signals to the control room than before, parameters that were only measured locally and had to be manually collected and less frequently before. Equipped with this additional information, one can take better decisions based on real data for doing maintenance.
The harsh environment in the Middle East has a tremendous impact on maintenance in several ways, as extreme heat and at times dusty conditions puts a lot of strain on the maintenance staff while doing maintenance in the field as compared to other regions in the world. "Fatigue can limit the efficiency of maintenance staff," says Mackie.
According to industry data compiled by Solomon Associates, the cost of turnarounds has risen by 15% annually from 2000 to 2008, largely as a result of labour cost increases, material cost increases, and scope of work increases during this period. The number of work hours devoted to turnarounds, for example, increased by 10% annually during this period. "The average cost ranges from $10 to $60 million US, with between 0.3 to 1.8 million work hours," observes Mackie.
The boom of the downstream industry in the region has opened door for maintenance provider, as their services are in demand in the region. "We have seen growing demand on our full range of on-line and on-site services, geared to facilitating maintenance and repairs with minimum downtime and maximum focus on safety and reliability," concludes Graham McKay, general manager of Furmanite Middle East.

Global daily average aluminium output up in June- IAI
SteelGuru - 27 Jul 2010
According to provisional figures from the International Aluminium Institute, global daily average primary aluminum output rose to 66,600 tonnes in June from a revised 66,400 tonnes in May.
Total production in June was 1.999 million tonnes compared with a revised 2.058 million tonnes in May. Total production in June 2009 was 1.893 million tonnes. Daily average primary aluminium production in China rose to 47,500 tonnes in June from 45,700 tonnes in May. Total primary aluminium production in China rose to 1.424 million tonnes in June from 1.418 million tonne in May and1.029 million tonne in June last year.
(Sourced from Reuters)

Rusal splits alumina and aluminium divisions by geography (subscription) - 27 Jul 2010
United Co Rusal has split the management of its alumina and
aluminium divisions by geographical location in a restructuring that has also created two new ...

DJ IAI: June 2010 World Aluminum Inventories Down 5.8% On Month
Trading Markets (press release) - 26 Jul 2010
LONDON, Jul 26, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --
World aluminum inventories in June fell 5.8%, or 139,000 metric tons, to 2.255 million metric tons, from 2.394 million tons in May, according to figures released Monday by the International Aluminum Institute.
June's figure was also 2.1% below the June 2009 inventory figure of 2.305 million tons.
NOTE: The data included in this IAI Statistical Report have been derived exclusively from returns by the primary aluminum producers themselves. These producers may be either Members of the IAI or Official Correspondents, the latter being enterprises possessing, or which have possessed, effective control over primary aluminum production but which are not Members. Official Correspondents are approved by the Board of the Institute.
Neither sources outside the industry nor estimates are used.
Unwrought aluminum is aluminum in its basic cast form made from primary metal or from scrap and which is unworked in the metallurgical sense.
Total aluminum is unwrought aluminum plus unprocessed scrap, metal in process and finished semi-fabricated [mill] products.
Unwrought and total aluminum inventories are all relevant inventories over which primary aluminum producers have some degree of control, with the exception of metal included in LME or COMEX stock reports.
Further clarification can be found in "A Guide to the IPAI Statistical System - Revised Aluminum Inventory Reporting Guidelines" [dated Oct. 28, 1999] which is available from the IAI.
By Rhiannon Hoyle, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9405;

Chalco to Benefit as China Limits Metal Production, Liang Says
BusinessWeek - July 26, 2010
(Bloomberg) -- Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., the nation’s largest maker of the metal, rose the most in four months in Shanghai on speculation China is seeking to curb industry overcapacity, boosting the company’s profit outlook.
Chalco, as the company is known, jumped 6.4 percent to 10.17 yuan at 2:08 p.m. local time.
China will limit production of 10 kinds of non-ferrous metals, including aluminum, to a combined annual output of about 41 million tons by 2015, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing Shang Fushan, vice chairman of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.
“The overcapacity problem in the aluminum market is the most serious; when capacity is limited, the market will feel that there will be less competition,” Owen Liang, analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co., said by telephone from Shenzhen. “Chalco is a leading company in this industry so it will benefit from the policy.”
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allen Wan at

Extend the Life of Anodes in Aluminium Smelters with Stub Straightening Systems - July 26, 2010
Anode stub toe-in is a known and understood phenomenon in all pre-bake aluminium smelters. The high temperature in the reduction cell causes both the carbon anode and the steel yoke to expand. Carbon expands much less than steel when heated. Because the lower parts of the stubs are cast into the anode block, they are not able to move with the yoke as it expands, and so the stubs bend inwards.
In the past, many smelters persisted with toed-in stubs until they were no longer usable, then cut off the bent stub and welded on a replacement. Today, many smelters accept that stub straightening has a demonstrable cost benefit; straight stubs reduce operational difficulties and improve the stub-carbon volt drop.
VHE of Iceland offers solutions appropriate to various reduction technologies. For smaller diameter stubs, cold straightening is an economical approach - VHE Stimir has previously delivered such systems to Alcan Iceland and Alcan Steg, Switzerland. Both machines are for 125mm diameter stubs and straighten the stubs at ambient temperatures.

ratifies Alcan contract in W.Va.
Ventura County Star - 24-Jul-2010
RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - Union workers at the Alcan Rolled Products plant in Ravenswood have ratified a new two-year contract after long negotiation process.
The company says United Steelworkers Local 5668 ratified the agreement after votes on Thursday and Friday.
Union negotiators and Alcan last Friday had announced the tentative agreement that covers nearly 700 workers at the Ravenswood plant.
The company says the new agreement preserves employee health care coverage and provides for a higher pension plan contributions.
The contract also helps protect union workers from layoffs due to workplace reorganization. But layoffs would be allowed when orders decline.
The existing contract expired June 1 but had been extended several times. The plant remained open throughout the process.

Bacteria 'reducing carbon emissions'
Zee News - July 24, 2010
Melbourne: A previously unknown species of bacteria is saving the mining industry millions of dollars, and reducing its carbon emissions, scientists have found.
A team, led by Naomi McSweeney of University of Western Australia, discovered the naturally occurring bacteria break down and remove sodium oxalate, an organic impurity produced during refining of low-grade bauxite into alumina.
At a typical refinery, sodium oxalate forms by the tonne during the production of alumina. It can affect colour and the quality of the final product.
"Oxalate can be removed by combustion, but this process releases excess carbon dioxide. The impurity may also be stored but this represents a major cost to refineries so treatment is a preferred option," McSweeney said.
Alcoa designed and installed an innovative large-scale bioreactor which has the capability to remove about 40 tonnes a day of sodium oxalate produced at its Kwinana refinery.
"Using bacteria to break down and remove oxalate is a better, more sustainable alternative. The bacterial process breaks down the sodium oxalate and produces significantly less carbon dioxide while avoiding the need to store the impurity," McSweeney said.
The scientists used DNA fingerprinting techniques to pick out the key players. What they found was a potentially new genus of Proteobacteria and a new species of the known genus Halomonas which are able to use the carbon in the oxalate to grow.
"Oxalates, and bacteria that feed on them, are common in nature -- for example in our food, in our guts and in the root systems of plants such as rhubarb. "However, these oxalate-degrading microorganisms were not the ones we found in the bioreactor. The bacteria doing most of the work in the bioreactor have never been found before," she said.

Mozambique: No Threat to Environment From Mozal Bypass - Paul Fauvet - 12 hours ago
The management of the MOZAL aluminium smelter at Beluluane, in the outskirts of Maputo, on Friday insisted that its plans to rebuild the smelter's two fume ...

ALUPRO-MPI Ultrasonics Inc. is Looking for an Industrial Partner to Build the ...
PR Web (press release) - Friday, July 23, 2010
ALUPRO-MPI Ultrasonics Inc. is Looking for an Industrial Partner to Build the World's First Ultrasonic Degassing Box for Molten Aluminum
Low frequency ultrasonic degassing of molten aluminium has never been successful, so far, when treating large volumes because of the creation of standing waves. After fifteen years of research, we have managed to create an ultrasonic generator which eliminates standing low frequency (20kHz) waves. A prototype of this unique technology has already been successfully tested in a 100 kg molten aluminium crucible.
Ultrasonic aluminum processor
The new ultrasonic generator with a Sialon sonotrode is able to wet all inclusions in minutes resulting in a 10 times higher theoretical density. (PRWEB) July 23, 2010
ALUPRO-MPI Ultrasonics Inc. has developed a new technology that applies high power ultrasonic energy to large, heavy irregular mass or un-tuned mechanical systems such as extruder, drawing die, mould tools, metal melt mixer, continuous casting, homogenizing, degassing with using a sialon (silicon nitride) sonotrode, alloying, very fine and homogenous micro-crystallization, sintering, etc.
Innovative Aspects:
Development of a new ultrasonic electronics and a system feedback concept that allows real-time adaptation to continuously evolving acoustic conditions. Capability to ultrasonically drive any arbitrary shape or large mechanical system at high energy if needed- Ultrasonic driving of system harmonics and subharmonics gives a wideband multi-frequency effect that improves stimulation of the system. Elimination of ultrasonic standing waves gives uniform treatment of material.
Our company is looking for partners who are willing to invest in the manufacturing of a new ultrasonic degassing box for the molten aluminum industry.

Russian RUSAL restarts alumina refinery in Jamaica
Reuters Africa - Jul 23, 2010
MOSCOW - The world's top aluminium producer Russia's UC RUSAL (0486.HK: Quote) (RUAL.PA: Quote) said on Friday it had restarted operations at its Windalco Ewarton alumina plant in Jamaica mothballed in 2009 due to the economic crisis.
RUSAL said in a statement it plans to refine by the end of the year around 321,000 tonnes of alumina, an intermediate product for aluminium smelting, at the refinery, which has an annual capacity of 650,000 tonnes. (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys)

Aluminum Production Way Up in China Despite Government Mandated Cutbacks
MetalMiner - July 22, 2010
Not three days ago did we report that China has “vowed to cut energy intensity,” through a series of measures such as increasing power tariffs by 50-100% for some energy intensive sectors such as aluminum production as well as through task forces sent throughout the country to monitor compliance. We even reported several industry closures in Henan province. That earlier post discussed how Alcoa’s CEO Klaus Kleinfeld cited 6m tons of aluminum capacity within China was “below the waterline,” so to speak and Chinese producers (primary producers) could not eek out a profit. But that was three days ago. And three day ago news in China is well, rather old (I hope you can see I’m being facetious). Check out these new numbers from Black China Blog (we have personally met the author and can vouch for his credibility): aluminum production hit 1.424 m tons or 47,500 tons per day according to data released by the CNIA (China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association). And guess what? This is a new all-time record!
So much for production cuts!
Nobody predicted a production increase. And as Paul Adkins, author of Black China Blog points out, it defies all logic. Logic being that most producers are underwater, that the government wants to limit energy intensity and that key end markets for aluminum have slowed down within China (e.g. property and infrastructure). So how should we interpret these numbers particularly when they appear to defy all logic?
Well, Adkins through his own research (calling into smelters) has discovered that smelters named on the government’s “black list” for shutdown didn’t exactly do just that. (To be named on the blacklist, Adkins suggests that the smelters had to have amperage under 100kA). But what did the < 100kA enterprising smelters do? Oh silly goose, they ripped out the old technology and built new cells in their place, according to Adkins. The result? Increased production of course! Adkins goes on to say that several smelters scheduled to close merely closed the old lines and instead, have built replacement lines.
We verified aluminum production numbers for this post looking at data provided by the International Aluminum Institute (IAI) which shows the increase in global daily aluminum output (66,000 tons in June vs. 66,400 tons in May) and “Total primary aluminium production in China rose to 1.424 million tonnes in June from 1.418 million tonnes in May and 1.029 million tonnes in June last year,” according to Reuters.
Certainly China’s aluminum sector is not as “controlled” as everyone thinks it is. We have to hand it to the Chinese for their ingenuity…

Aluminum shipment growth rate accelerates in US and Canada
SteelGuru - 22 Jul 2010
US service center aluminum shipments jumped 37.7% above those of June 2009 to 123,500 tonnes, bringing 2010 H1 shipments to 615,800 tonnes, 17.4% more than last year. Month end aluminum inventories of 311,000 tonnes were 15.3% greater than a year ago and at current shipping rates, equal to 2.5 month supply.
In Canada, metals service centers shipped 12,600 tonnes of aluminum products, a rise of 12.2% from the same month last year. H1 aluminum shipments of 68,600 tonnes are 5.3% above those of the 2009 half. Inventories at the end of June totaled 30,600 tonnes, 3.3% below year ago inventories and equal to 2.4 month supply at current shipping rates.
The Metals Activity Report, based on data from metals service centers in the United States and Canada is produced by the Metals Service Center Institute and a third-party econometrics and strategy firm, McCoy, Scott & Company.

Construction Begins on Ras Az Zawr Aluminium Smelter
VAdvert Press Center (press release) - 07 21, 2010
Bechtel started construction on Saudi Arabia’s first ever aluminium smelter at the Ma’aden minerals industry complex at the Ras Az Zawr Minerals Industrial City. The industry complex is being developed by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden and will also house an alumina refinery and a rolling mill. Bechtel will provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the aluminium smelter.
The minerals industry complex is situated 90 kilometers north of Jubail on the Arabian Gulf coast. Bechtel has managed the development of the Jubail Industrial City since the mid-1970s.
The $4 billion smelter will be constructed as two high amperage potlines utilizing Pechiney AP technology and will produce 740,000 tonnes of aluminium per year. Most of the aluminium will be exported, while at least 250,000 tonnes will feed the adjacent rolling mill. The smelter will include a carbon plant for anode production, ingot cast house, material handling, and support facilities.
Aluminium operations at Ras Az Zawr will be powered by a joint power and desalination plant, which will generate 2,400 MW of electricity and 1.025 million cubic meters of water per day. The aluminium complex will use 1,350 MW of electricity and 25,000 cubic meters of water per day.
The first production from the aluminium smelter and the rolling mill is expected in 2013.

China's Chalco, Europe's Sapa to form aluminium JV
Reuters Africa - Jul 21, 2010HONG KONG July 21 (Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) (2600.HK: Quote)(601600.SS: Quote), China's biggest aluminium maker, and Europe's Sapa AB said on Wednesday they have agreed to form a joint venture to serve China's rolling stock market.
The two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding, and aimed to finalise plans for construction of a facility in southern China by the fourth quarter, Sapa, the world's largest aluminium extrusion company, said in a statement.
They said the venture would be a 50-50 endeavour, but did not disclose financial details.
The joint venture's aluminium extrusion and fabrication facility would include the latest technology for press and fabrication capabilities, according to the two sides.
Products could be launched by as early as the first quarter of 2011 using existing subsidiaries, Sapa added.
"The Chinese rolling stock industry has seen a very strong development both in terms of volume and technology," said the companies. "The joint venture will be able to meet current needs as well as serving the rapidly increasing technical demands of the rolling stock industry." (Reporting by Doug Young; Editing by Chris Lewis)

Poyry lands EUR5m consultancy job for aluminium mill in Brazil
FOXBusiness - Jul 20, 2010
Finnish consultant Poyry Oyj (HEL: POY1V) said today that it has won a contract, exceeding EUR5m, to provide basic and detail engineering for the expansion of an aluminium rolling mill in Brazil.
The customer is Novelis do Brasil Ltda, a unit of Canadian aluminium rolled products company Novelis Inc.
The plant is in the city of Pindamonhangaba in the state of Sao Paulo.
The value of the whole project, aiming to boost production to 600,00 tonnes annually (t/a) from 400,000 t/a, is USD300m, as it was announced in May 2010.
Poyry's assignment will run for about two years. The order was booked in the second quarter of 2010.

Economic Times - 19-Jul-2010
Ashapura Aluminium Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ashapura Minechem Ltd, is setting up 1 million tpa alumina refinery in Kutch, Gujarat. CHALIECO the designing arm of CHALCO, China is the technology supplier for the project. The basic engineering has been completed and a contract for the detailed engineering has been awarded to CHALIECO. The company has prepared a revised techno economic feasibility report as per which the cost of project is Rs 4,300 crore out of which Rs 2,866 crore will be debt component.

NBAD appointed as Financial Advisor to ADPC
Al-Bawaba - 17-Jul-2010
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has been appointed by Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) as its financial advisor following a tender involving several global institutions.
NBAD will support ADPC to structure and execute its long term financial strategy as it seeks to deliver the landmark Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone (KPIZ) project. Funding is likely to come from a range of sources and may include bilateral and syndicated bank debt, export credit agency finance, Islamic Funding and debt capital markets.
Located midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the Taweelah industrial district, KPIZ will commence operations in 2012 and over the long term to 2030 will comprise 420 square kilometers of prime industrial land organized into vertically integrated clusters for aluminium, petrochemicals, glass, paper and other major sectors. It will consist of a new, world-class multi-purpose offshore port and one of the largest integrated industrial zones in the world.
Phase 1 of Khalifa Port will open in 2012, replacing Abu Dhabi's existing main port of Mina Zayed. The new port will have an initial capacity of 2 million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units), of containers and 9 million tons of general cargo. The dedicated EMAL berth will be operational later this year. When all phases of Khalifa Port are completed, it will have a capacity of 15 million TEUs of containers and 35 million tons of general cargo.
"We are keen on having best in class partners for our developments and are very pleased to have selected NBAD as our financial advisor. It is a highly reputable bank with a strong track record. The choice was also based on the merit and relevant experience of the potential team that will be leading it," said Ala Khannak, Chief Financial Officer of ADPC.
"We are delighted to play a significant role in advising and developing this multipurpose world-class port and industrial zone," said Mark Yassin, the Senior General Manager of NBAD's Corporate & Investment Banking Division. "NBAD is an integral part of Abu Dhabi and we are committed to serving the emirate and the UAE by supporting and financing projects in different economic sectors to help achieve the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030."
© 2010 Al Bawaba

Alcoa to return Aviles smelter to full output by Q4
Reuters Africa - 16-Jul-2010
NEW YORK, Alcoa Inc plans to return its 93,000 tonne-per-year aluminum smelter in Aviles,Spain, to full production by the fourth quarter, after it was idled due to heavy flooding in the region in mid-June. "In the (second) quarter, production at our Aviles smelter was halted due to heavy flooding. We are in the process of restarting production and anticipate Aviles to be at full operating rate by the fourth quarter this year," Alcoa's Chief Financial Officer Chuck McLane said, speaking on the company's second-quarter conference call earlier this week. Aviles was hit during the second week in June by torrential rains that flooded the entire Asturias region. Alcoa idled the plant after water damaged it along with the electrical substation that supplies power to the smelter.The facility remained shut while the company cleaned up the mess and assessed damage, said the Pittsburgh-based aluminum giant. Aviles plant workers were able to safely raise anodes out of their pots, helping to lessen some of the flood's impact. But customers were notified at the time that Alcoa declared force majeure and that the floods affected shipments and deliveries. McLane did not discuss whether customer shipments were delayed or had been supplied from other plants.
(Reporting by Carole Vaporean; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Power shortfall hits aluminium output at Nalco's smelter plant
Sify - 2010-07-17
The short supply of power from the captive power plant (CPP) of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) borne out of the coal crisis has hit the aluminium production at its smelter plant here.
The average production of aluminium at Nalco's smelter plant has fallen to 1100 tonnes from the normal figure of 1200 tonnes a dip of 8.33 per cent. This is because the smelter plant is getting an average of 740 MW of power per day as against the requirement of 810 MW to run the pot lines.
After the second phase expansion, Nalco is operating 927 out of 960 pots at its smelter plant, leaving the rest for maintenance, said a company official. Similarly, the navratna company is running eight out of the nine 120 MW units of its CPP, leaving one unit in the standby mode.
After keeping about 80 MW for its internal consumption, the CPP supplies 740 MW to the smelter complex.Nalco has recently added 240 pots at its smelter plant under its Phase-II expansion project. But it is yet to support this expansion with commensurate capacity addition in CPP. Only one 110 MW captive power unit was added in August last year but another 120 MW unit-the tenth CPP unit is yet to be commissioned.
The coal shortage has cast a shadow over the CPP, admitted a company source.Nalco needs a minimum of 20,000 tonnes of coal per day to run the ten units of its CPP but the current supply from all sources is limited to 16000-17000 tonnes per day. According to Nalco authorities, the company can enter into coal linkage agreement with Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) for the tenth unit only after the unit is fired.
Meanwhile, the Nalco authorities are making frantic efforts to source coal from various alternative sources. Besides drawing coal from its linked mine at the Talcher Coalfields under the command area of MCL, the company has planned to import 0.6 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal.
It also sought 0.5 million tonnes of washed coal from the washeries through the e-auction mode. A total of 48,000 tonnes of coal have been procured by the aluminium major by the e-auction route.

Union: Tentative agreement on Alcan contract
BusinessWeek -16-Jul-2010
RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. Union workers at Alcan Rolled Products in Ravenswood have another contract proposal to consider.
The United Steelworkers negotiating committee announced Friday on its Facebook page that a tentative agreement on a new contract was reached late Thursday.Details weren't released.
The negotiating committee says briefings will be held with Local 5668 members and a vote will be scheduled.
About 700 Steelworkers members continue to work under the existing contract, which has been extended several times since it expired June 1.
Union workers rejected several previous contract offers. Negotiations resumed this week after Local 5668 officials rescinded a strike notice.

Nearly as hard as steel: Aluminum with fullerenes
Nanowerk LLC - 16-Jul-2010
Russian researchers with Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) are using special carbon nanoparticles to optimize materials. They are adding fullerenes—soccer ball-shaped molecules comprising 60 carbon atoms— to aluminum to obtain a new material that is roughly three times harder than conventional composites, yet weights much less. The lightweight yet strong aluminum could be used to improve the performance of compressors, turbochargers and engines.
The pure carbon fullerenes have high mechanical stability at a low weight. Aluminum and C60 are ground under an argon atmosphere into tiny grains with a diameter of just a few nanometers, or millionths of a millimeter. The two substances then bond with one another to form the new material. Special mills grind the aluminum, and the ultrafine powder is pressed into a new material. Roughly one percent by weight of fullerenes is sufficient to imbue the material with sufficient hardness.
Siemens envisages a variety of applications for the hard aluminum. Turbines with lighter rotors can deliver higher speeds and make compressors or engines more efficient. One could coat superconducting cables with the material to improve their stability. They would then be able to withstand stronger currents, which in turn would make machines such as magnetic resonance tomography scanners more powerful. Because fullerenes barely affect the electrical conductivity of the aluminum, aluminum electric cables could be made thinner to save material.

Saudi aluminium plant construction begins
Construction Week Online - Jul 15, 2010
Construction work has started on the world’s largest fully integrated aluminium plant, a joint venture between Saudi Mining Company Ma’aden and Alcoa, the companies announced yesterday.
Work on the $10 billion plant, consisting of a bauxite mine at Ba'aitha and an alumina refinery, aluminum smelter and rolling mill at Ras Az Zawr, began with initial ground breaking services last week. The plant is due for completion in 2013 and will provide the kingdom with a supply of cost effective aluminium for the food packaging industry.
Main contractor, US firm Fluor, holds key contracts in all three phases of the plant development.
Ma’aden says the smelter and rolling mill will begin operations in 2013 with the mine and refinery coming on stream in 2014. Bauxite feedstock for the planned alumina refinery will be transported by rail from the new mine at Al Ba'itha, near Quiba, in the north of the kingdom
Speaking to reporters, Vice President Aluminium SBU and Project Management Abdullah Busfar, said, “The team has worked very hard over a long period of time to bring the project this far. It is a landmark day not only for Ma’aden and Alcoa but also for the aluminium industry in the Gulf and for the diversification of Saudi industry.”
Ken Wisnoski, President Alcoa Global Primary Products, GEBA pointed to the progress that has been made since the joint venture was formed.
“Little more than a few months ago, we had an empty space on a map, an ambitious idea of the future and a combined team of dedicated, energised people. We also had the visionary commitment of the Kingdom’s government to the establishment of world-class infrastructure at Ras az Zawr,” Wisnoski said.
“Now everything is coming together on schedule. In the near future, the place where we stand today will become the regional hub of the Kingdom’s new aluminium industry, and home of the Middle East’s first, and one of the world’s most technologically advanced, food-grade can sheet rolling mills.
“What we see here today is proof of what can be achieved through the true spirit of partnership that exists within our joint venture,” he concluded.
The site is also home to the Ma'aden Phosphate Company's integrated chemical and fertiliser facility, due to begin operation later this year. The plant is ready for trial run production, and includes a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant, an ammonia plant, a diammonium phosphate (DAP) granulation plant for fertiliser, a combined power and desalination plant, plus the infrastucture needed to run the site..
It will process phosphate concentrate brought by rail from Al Jalamid. The first phase of the project will give the plant the capacity to produce 2.9m tonnes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) for fertiliser when it comes on stream in late 2010. The second phase will give the plant the capacity to produce six million tons of DAP – almost half of that produced globally in 2006. Maaden intends securing a 15-25% share of the $25bn world DAP market.

Rio Tinto Stabilizes Laterriere Smelting Potline After Power Failure
FOXBusiness - Wednesday, July 14, 2010
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Rio Tinto PLC (RTP, RIO.LN) said Wednesday it has repaired one of the transformers at its Laterriere Works aluminum smelter in Quebec after a power failure last week, allowing it to stabilize one of the facility's two potlines.
Two of three transformers feeding electricity to the smelter failed on July 6--the first power failure of its kind at the Laterriere operations.
"We have repaired one of the transformers that failed onsite," Rio spokesman Bryan Tucker told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday. "This transformer coming back online has allowed us to stabilize the line that is still in operation."
The second potline remains suspended, he said.
"We are still working to provide reliable energy source for the suspended line," Tucker added. "Once we are able to secure a reliable current to this line, it will take three to six months to restart the line."
Following the power failure last week, he warned the loss of electricity to a potline makes it technically difficult to resume full production quickly, as the smelting pots in the potline can harden.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation.
Laterriere's annualized capacity is 250,000 metric tons of aluminum metal.
Copyright © 2009 Dow Jones Newswires

Protesters clash with police over 'red river' pollution
Global Times - July 15 2010
About 1,000 protesters in Jingxi county, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, blocked roads and paralyzed traffic on Tuesday, voicing their anger at an aluminum factory that they say has turned a local river red with chemical pollutants.
The protesters from Pangling village marched toward the county government building, shouting slogans and holding banners that read, "Return my home, Return my river," but were blocked from the building entrance by armed police and government officials.
"All villagers returned home Wednesday and we are trying to resolve the conflict after communi-cating with them in order to maintain social stability," the head of the Jingxi county government Information Office, surnamed Chen, told the Global Times Wednesday without giving additional details on the clash between protesters and police.
The incident was resolved Tuesday without casualties and traffic is flowing freely in the county, she added.
The protest was directly triggered by a conflict between villagers and Xinfa aluminum factory executives on July 11. The Shandong Xinfa Group has invested heavily in the factory, a major pro-ducer of aluminum chloride in Guangxi.
Villagers claimed that the Xinfa factory has endangered their health and living environment by polluting the local river, the main source of their drinking water.
The villagers said the river turned red after the aluminum factory began operations in 2007 without taking environmental protection measures. Their complaints have circulated on the Internet, with several entries and photos posted on baidu's online forum.
The information official refuted the accusations, insisting that the factory is safe.
Xinfa refused to comment on the protest.
Constant disputes between the villagers and factory officials turned violent on July 11, when the villagers tried to stop the factory from building a new transportation lane to replace an older road, washed out by flashfloods during a recent earthquake. The villagers said the road construction was undertaken without government approval.
According to the government, some villagers destroyed factory equipment during the July 11 violence.
The protesters said some people were beaten and injured by factory workers and that several elderly people were pushed into the river.
Tuesday's disturbance was the latest in a string of environmental protests over the past several years.
In January, hundreds of demonstrators in South China's Guangdong Province donned hospital masks to protest plans for an incinerator.

Rio Tinto says growth back on agenda
Trading Room - July 14 2010, 3:54PM
A recovery in diamonds and minerals production reflected improved market fundamentals compared with the difficult conditions of 2009, when operations were idle
Production at Argyle returned to normal levels following the maintenance shut down at the processing facilities in the second quarter of 2009, while at Diavik, ore processed during the second quarter increased 37 per cent compared with the same quarter of 2009.
Rio says its pre-tax and pre-divestment expenditure on exploration and evaluation in the first half of 2010 was $214 million, compared with $242 million in same period of 2009.
During the first half of 2010, the group realised $67 million (pre-tax) from the divestment of central exploration properties, compared with $73 million in the same period of 2009.
Exploration highlights included the Amargosa bauxite project in Brazil, where an order of magnitude study commenced, and a joint venture exploration for copper and other minerals in Kazakhstan.
Rio Tinto completed $3.6 billion of divestments comprising Alcan Packaging Food Americas, Alcan Packaging Global Pharmaceuticals, Global Tobacco, Food Europe and Food Asia divisions and two undeveloped properties sold by Coal & Allied.

Alcan, Steelworkers to begin talks again (press release) - July 14--CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Contract negotiations between United Steelworkers Local 5668 and Alcan Rolled Products in Ravenswood were to resume Wednesday morning after the union called off a strike scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The union plans to give Alcan a comprehensive proposal about issues it wants a new contract to address, including retired workers' benefits and contracting out work now done by union members.
Morrie Newell, a spokesman for Alcan-Ravenswood, released a statement on Tuesday afternoon welcoming the union's decision.
"Local 5668 approached Alcan Rolled Products to rescind the strike and resume talks," Newell said. "Those talks with the Union will resume on Wednesday.
"The two parties agreed to extend the terms of the expired collective bargaining agreement until 10:59 p.m. on Thursday, July 15th," Newell added. "The company welcomes the decision by the union not to strike and to return to the bargaining table."
Randy Moore, a USW staff representative, said Alcan's willingness to negotiate "opened the door of opportunity for us."
"We rescinded our strike notice and we will put out a comprehensive proposal to address all the issues that were on the table. We are working on that," Moore said Tuesday afternoon.
"We hope to have it ready tomorrow. We hope it is a foundation to get our differences settled."
Local 5668 members voted down two previous contract proposals: 508-105 during voting held on June 10-11, then 397-251 in voting last Thursday and Friday.
Alcan's Ravenswood plant has about 1,000 employees, 700 of whom are represented by the USW.
"It is going primarily to be up to them," Moore said. "They have to understand that our membership voted down the company's position twice. But our membership is willing to work. And that is what they want us to do.
"But something has to change. We have spent time trying to address both parties' needs. That is what we will put in front of the company tomorrow."
Today's negotiations will focus on job security and pensioners' rights.
"Future job security is one key issue," Moore said. "The company's work force reorganization plans alarm our membership."
Local union members, he said, are very reluctant "to accept language that gives the company the right to contract out their work, when we already have so many problems with them contracting out our work right now.
"These issues are coupled with concerns for our retirees, especially with what Century Aluminum did to its retirees."
Kaiser Aluminum operated the Ravenswood plant between 1959 and 1989, when Century Aluminum -- then called Ravenswood Aluminum -- bought it.
Last February, 651 workers lost their jobs when Century Aluminum shut down its smelting plant, located right next to Alcan's rolling mill.
"Century unilaterally made a change to cut medical benefits for retirees. Those who had been covered for years now had to start paying themselves," Moore said.
The Steelworkers union is still involved in a legal battle over the rights of Century retirees, he said.
"In addition to job security and future security, our membership would also like to see something longer than a two-year contract agreement.
"These are hard issues for the employer as well," Moore said. "We are optimistic going into negotiations. We will try our best. Nobody wants a strike. We have world-class employees. We want to be in world-class demand again."
Wednesday's negotiations will be held in Charleston.
Alcan's statement added, "Each day that is lost by not working together to serve our customers and create a sustainable business is a day that cannot be regained, putting the future of the plant, its employees and the community in further jeopardy."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at or 304-348-5164.

Alcan Workers Rescind Strike Notice
WCHS - 13 Jul 2010
(Ravenswood) A Jackson County Commissioner says he's glad that company officials and workers at the Alcan Rolled Products plant have returned to the table for negotiations opposed to moving forward with a strike.
"They're vital to our community," says Jackson County Commissioner Don Stephens.
Members of United Steelworkers Local 5668 were set to strike Tuesday morning after failing to reach a contract agreement with the management for a second time. Those negotiations were once again extended Monday afternoon.
Commissioner Stephens says that is good news because any type of work stoppage would have put a great strain on Ravenswood and its surrounding communities. He estimates that Alcan represents about 10-15-percent of the total tax base for Jackson County.
Stephens also says many businesses such as restaurants and parts manufacturers depend on Alcan to make their income. He was eating lunch at one of those restaurants in nearby Mount Alto when he heard the news. Mainly, the commissioner said there was a sense of relief in that establishment.
"People there in that restaurant were tickled. They were glad to hear there wasn't going to be a strike or at least they were going back to the negotiating table and postpone the strike," he said
Stephens also recalled the last major disagreement at the aluminum plant. It was a lock out that occurred at the plant in the 1990s. He said that the time not only took an economic impact on the county, but it also had an emotional impact on the people who lived there.
"Sometimes there are family that are salary, and sometimes the other side is hourly. Sometimes its splits families," said the commissioner.
A strike would have affected over 700 workers at the Alcan Rolled Products plant. Union workers will continue to work under the terms of the previous contract until they can reach an agreement with the company.

Report on Aluminium Industry Available through Bharatbook
PRLog.Org (press release) - 12 Jul 2010
The global
aluminium industry hit a rough patch, with the global financial crisis, which began in the last quarter of 2008, severely impacting the demand ...

Russia Prosecutor's office orders RUSAL- Krasnoyarsk to upgrade air filter system
RIA Novosti - 12/07/2010
The Prosecutor's office of one of Russia's Siberian regions on Monday ordered RUSAL-Krasnoyarsk to upgrade and put in operation a 2.5 million ruble ($81,000) gas purification equipment to filter the air from dust from calcining furnaces.
The factory in Krasnoyarsk belongs to the world's largest aluminum producer RusAl.
An environmental check showed that RUSAL-Krasnoyarsk failed to provide environmental quality standards and severely violated air protection laws harming the environmental situation in the Krasnoyarsk region. The Prosecutor's office has opened an administrative case against RUSAL-Krasnoyarsk to remove the violations.
"RUSAL-Krasnoyarsk has developed and approved measures (deadline Sept. 30, 2010) to remove violations of the air protection law identified by the prosecutor's office, including the reconstruction and commissioning of control equipment (a radial cyclone) to provide a more effective cleaning of gases from dust produced by calcining furnaces. The cost of the upgrade amounts to 2.5 million rubles," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last month demanded a speedy completion of investigations into the blasts which killed at least 67 miners at the Raspadskaya coal mine in Western Siberia in May.
Russia's emergency officials say at least 23 miners are still missing from the two blasts that rocked the mine near the town of Mezhdurechensk on May 9.
Putin said analysis of the Raspadskaya tragedy had shown that the coal mining industry badly needed "systematic change."
The accident at the Raspadskaya coal mine is believed to have been caused by poor observation of safety regulations.
The Russian industrial safety watchdog detected over 1,400 safety violations at the mine in 2009 and in January-April 2010 and suspended production five times.

Alcan prepares for orderly shutdown
Parkersburg News - July 12, 2010
RAVENSWOOD - The Alcan Rolled Products plant in Ravenswood is preparing for an orderly shutdown of its operations in preparation of union members' intention to strike this week.
On Saturday, the International Steel Workers Union gave the company a 72-hour notice of its intention to strike the facility, a company spokesman said in a prepared press release.
"At 7 a.m. on Tuesday, July 13th, the Union will officially be on strike," he said.
Union members from United Steelworkers Local 5668 rejected the company's latest contract offer 397-251 in voting Thursday and Friday.
Union members are working under an extension of the existing contract, which expired June 1 and was extended a couple of times during negotiations. The recent contract extension expired Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
"The terms and conditions of the recently expired Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect until the effective time and date of the Union strike," the company press release stated.
It was the second contract offer the union rejected. About 700 of the plant's 1,000 workers are union members. The plant is Jackson County's largest employer.
The company said its offer included wage and pension increases as well as preservation of a free-to-employee health insurance plan as well as complete protection from layoffs as it relates to work reorganization and outside contracting. Union members thought different provisions could lead to layoffs and contracting out of different jobs, despite the assurances.
"Faced with a strike, the company announced that it has begun an orderly shutdown of operations," the company said. "As stated throughout the past two months of negotiations and contract extensions, the company will not operate the plant with anything other than bargaining unit employees.
"The company awaits a request from the union to meet and discuss next steps and possible resolution of the remaining issues."
The company spokesman said the union's vote has placed the future of the plant and its 1,000 jobs in jeopardy.
"Alcan-Ravenswood has consistently told the Union Bargaining Committee that operational improvements must be made to be competitive in the global market for aluminum products," he said. "The company's principal objective was to work cooperatively with the union in identifying ways to become more efficient, thereby meeting customer needs and preserving jobs."
The local union's leadership has said they are ready to return to the bargaining table at a moment's notice to continue negotiations, but they will not work under an agreement that has been voted down twice by its membership.
The company said that it would make no further investments in the plant until after a new agreement is reached and operational improvements are initiated.

French Group Seeks Solutions To Alucam's Energy Woes--Official
NASDAQ - 10-Jul-2010
YAOUNDE, Cameroon -(Dow Jones)- Medef International, a French trade group representing a diverse selection of manufacturers, energy, infrastructure and financial companies, has sent delegates to Cameroon to seek ways for that country's lone aluminum smelter, the Societe Camerounaise d'Aluminium, or Alucam, to triple its aluminum output from the current annual yield of 90,000 metric tons, a Cameroon government official said Saturday.
France is the largest importer of Cameroon's aluminum industry
The company entered a strategic partnership with Tinto Alcan, a unit of Rio Tinto Plc (RTP, RIO.LN) in 2005, in hopes of expanding the company's yearly alumina output to 300,000 by 2015.
Like all mining and industrial units in Cameroon, Alucam suffers from an acute energy shortage, which has forced the company to slash 2009-2010 alumina production by about 40%.
"The [difficulty] of acquiring sufficient energy is still a big problem for Alucam. Part of this week's meeting with Medef International focused on resolving the energy problem suffered by Alucam. Also, Medef could help Alucam secure part or all of the $1.8 billion required for the company's expansion program," said a senior official in Cameroon's ministry of Energy and Water.
"To quicken this move Alucam is looking for partners worldwide to get its energy woes resolved, possibly secure the necessary funds for its expansion, while waiting for existing energy projects to get ready," said the official, who preferred speaking on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Alucam entered a 30-year deal last year to secure power from AES- Sonel, the Cameroon affiliate of U.S. energy firm AES Corp. (AES). AES will supply 490 megawatts of electricity to Alucam beginning this year, then down to 250 megawatts by 2015.
-By Emmanuel Tumanjong, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +237-9655-6261;
Read more:

Workers at Alcan W.Va. plant reject contract
Ventura County Star - 10-Jul-2010
RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - Union workers at the Alcan Rolled Products plant in Ravenswood have rejected the company's latest contract offer and say they are ready to strike.

United Steelworkers Local 5668 announced on its website that the contract was rejected 397-251 in voting Thursday and Friday. The union issued a 72-hour strike notice beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Union leaders had encouraged workers to ratify the proposed contract, saying the slumping aluminum market left them in a bad position to pick fights.

Union members are working under an extension of the existing contract, which expired June 1. It was the second contract offer they rejected.

"We want to avoid this fight if we can but the company must understand that we will not work under the terms of the tentative contract that was rejected twice by the membership," said Eli Morris, Local 5668 grievance chairman.

Morris said members were willing to return to the bargaining table "at a moment's notice" to resolve job security and other issues.

An Alcan spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

About 700 of the plant's 1,000 workers are union members. The plant is Jackson County's largest employer.

Commodities: Into the spotlight
Financial Times - Javier Blas - 8 hours ago
... a pure trader – became a diversified commodities group with its first acquisition: a 27 per cent stake in the Mount Holly aluminium smelter in the US. ...

Guinea Vote May Lead to Review of Mining Deals, Eurasia Says
BusinessWeek - July 08, 2010
(Bloomberg) -- The election of a new president in Guinea, the world’s biggest bauxite exporter, may lead to reviews of multibillion-dollar deals with companies including Rio Tinto Group and United Co. Rusal Plc, Eurasia Group said.
Cellou Dalein Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea is favored to beat Alpha Conde of the Rally of the Guinean People in a run-off vote in the West African country on July 18, Rolake Akinola, Africa analyst at New York-based Eurasia, said in an e-mailed research note yesterday.
Twenty-four candidates competed in the first round of elections on June 27, a year and a half after army Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power following the death of former President Lansana Conte, who ruled for two decades. Guinea hasn’t had a democratic transfer of power since it gained independence from France in 1958.
The winner of the second round of voting, whether Diallo or Conde, will probably stop the practice of “arbitrary and erratic presidential decrees enacting and annulling contracts,” seek to normalize relations with mining investors, institutionalize mining laws and scrutinize existing deals, Akinola said.
“A planned review of contracts is likely to create some initial losers, as deals that may have benefitted from opaque decision-making under previous regimes face the risk of renegotiation,” she said.
Deals being reviewed include Rio’s $2.9 billion accord with Chinalco, China’s biggest producer of aluminum, to develop the Simandou iron-ore project in southeast Guinea. In December 2008, the Guinean government told London-based Rio to hand over part of Simandou to Guernsey-based BSG Resources Ltd.
Remaining Rights
Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, bought a $2.5 billion stake at Simandou from Israeli-owned BSG Resources. Rio maintains it owns the rights to the entire concession and the transitional government of President Sekouba Konate last month threatened to strip Rio of its remaining rights to the concession.
“It is likely that the company believes it can gain a fairer hearing under a new administration,” Akinola said. “This could create problems for Brazilian mining giant Vale.”
Last year, Moscow-based United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, was ordered by the government to return a bauxite and aluminum complex at Friguia, in central Guinea, after a court ruled that its purchase was invalid.
“The potential for a new configuration of political power after polls could undo recent attempts by Rusal to soften Guinea’s stance,” Akinola said. Guinea alleges Rusal owes $860 million in taxes, she said.
Bauxite Reserves
Guinea holds as much as half of the world’s reserves of bauxite, used to make aluminum, more than 4 billion tons of “high-grade” iron ore, “significant” diamond and gold deposits, and uranium, according to the U.S. State Department’s website.
A more stable mining environment in the wake of the elections may help double bauxite exports to 20 million metric tons next year, Akinola said.
Guinea has about 10.3 million people, according to the African Development Bank. Per capita income is less than half the sub-Saharan African average of $861, according to the World Bank, and the country ranks 170th out of 182 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, literacy and gross domestic product per capita.

Govt pulls plug on smelter
Trinidad & Tobago Express - Jul 8, 2010
ENERGY Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan confirmed yesterday Government had pulled the plug on the Alutrint aluminium smelter project at the La Brea Industrial Estate.
Speaking with members of the media, following a luncheon hosted by the Energy Chamber at Paria Suites in La Romaine yesterday, the minister said the People's Partnership had no intention of continuing with the construction of the smelter plant.
Construction stalled last June after High Court Justice Mira Dean-Armorer ordered an injunction, based on a challenge from several environmental organisations, against the decision by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to grant a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to Alutrint. The order was appealed and a judgment is pending.
In the meantime, work on a port facility and power plant, both in support of the smelter, has continued in La Brea.
Seepersad-Bachan's People's Partnership Government had promised during the general election campaign there would be no smelter.
Yesterday, she said: "As of May 24, all further construction...stopped."
She said no jobs would be lost, and alternative measures would be put in place to accommodate any incurred losses.
She did not outline the measures or how soon they would be implemented.
Environmentalist and anti-smelter activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has welcomed the move.
"It was the logical and scientific thing to do," he said yesterday.
He said there was enough time to look at and evaluate the facts concerning the smelter plants to realise it was not beneficial to this country's economy.
He said the construction of smelter plants was not only uneconomical, but it was also an ecological disaster for the south peninsula, and it significantly impacted on human health.
Kublalsingh said there should be other ways in which the port at Labidco and the power plant at the Union Industrial Estate could be utilised. He also suggested the 5,000-plus workers involved in previous operations be transferred to these facilities.

Transformer explosions to hobble Rio Tinto Alcan smelter in Quebec for months
Winnipeg Free Press - 7/07/2010
MONTREAL - The explosion of two electrical transformers at Rio Tinto Alcan's Laterriere aluminum smelter could hobble the Quebec facility for up to six months.
The 21-year-old smelter is expected to continue operating at half its 235,000-tonne annual capacity for three to six months after power is restored.
Company spokesman Bryan Tucker couldn't say how long it will take to restore power.
"We're trying to find out what happened. We're trying to find out the cause and then we'll turn our attention to how we can restore power to the line," he said in an interview.
The first explosion occurred at 11 a.m. Tuesday and the second followed 30 minutes later.
Tucker wouldn't say if sabotage has been ruled out in what the company describes as the worst power outage it has suffered in the Lac St-Jean region, which houses several of its low-cost smelting operations.
"I think it would be inappropriate to rule out any possible causes but we certainly aren't going to speculate on what it was," Tucker said. "We're going to conduct a thorough investigation of it."
Etienne Jacques, vice-president of primary metal in the Saguenay region, said the company immediately activated its safety plan and dispatched emergency crews
He said there were no injuries.
As a safety precaution, one of two production lines at Laterriere Works has been suspended.
Tucker said it's too early to say what impact the production cut will have on the smelter's 490 employees and whether layoffs will be required.
"We'll evaluate that as we go forward. It's still early and it would be premature to speculate on the impact it would have on our workforce."
The incident is expected to cost the company millions of dollars, although Rio Tinto wouldn't provide a precise estimate.
Rio Tinto Alcan said it plans to leverage its extensive operations in the region to ensure there will be no impact on its customers.
Laterriere is the company's fourth-largest Canadian smelting facility. It accounts for about 11 per cent of aluminum smelting production in Quebec and 4.8 per cent of global capacity.
The Anglo-Australian parent company is one of the world's largest mining and mineral processors. Its products include aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore.

Rusal forecasts increase in aluminium price next year
Business Day - 2010/07/07
RUSSIA’s UC Rusal expects aluminium prices to climb next year as demand increases without growth in capacity, CEO Oleg Deripaska said yesterday.
Mr Deripaska, who heads the world’s largest aluminium producer, forecast aluminium at 2400-2700 a ton next year.
LME three-month aluminium futures were trading at about 1988,25 a ton yesterday .
The company also expected a global surplus of the metal, used in packaging, construction and cars, of 500000 to 700000 tons this year, Mr Deripaska said.
Royal Bank of Scotland in a recent research note forecast a surplus of 1,5-million tons this year, compared with 3-million tons last year. It forecasts a surplus of 350000 tons for next year, and a deficit the following year.
“Demand is very strong,” Mr Deripaska said. “We hope that by the middle of next year the market will be balanced.” He said he was optimistic about future demand due to strong car sales growth in China, the world’s top metals consumer and a leading aluminium producer. “We are more optimistic because we believe that China will generate more demand,” he said. “We can’t see that people will stop coming from rural areas to the cities.”
Rusal produced about 3,9-million tons of aluminium last year, or about 10% of global production. It plans to boost output 3% this year as the market improves after a slump that prompted it to cut output last year.
The company has the capacity to produce 4,6-million tons a year of aluminium, not including the new capacity that will be added when two smelters in eastern Siberia, Boguchany and Taishet, come on stream next year.
Last month, Mr Deripaska said Rusal would supply up to 1-million tons of aluminium for the first aluminium-backed exchange- traded fund, expected to be launched before the end of the northern summer. He said yesterday it could take as long as the first quarter of next year to supply the 1-million tons.
On his battle for control of Norilsk Nickel with Interros’ Vladimir Potanin, Mr Deripaska said he believed Rusal could restore its position on the board of Norilsk. Each company controls slightly more than a quarter of Norilsk. Last week, Rusal boycotted the election of a chairman at Norilsk after winning one fewer seat on the Norilsk board than Interros. Rusal, which believes that the results were manipulated, said that it would seek to convene an extraordinary shareholders meeting.
Rusal’s purchase of a stake in Norilsk two years ago was seen as a precursor to a hostile takeover of Norilsk by Mr Deripaska, but the global crisis forced the tycoon to scrap the plan as he battled for the survival of his own empire.
Mr Deripaska said the boardroom problems arose over policy agreements previously arranged with Interros, such as a 3bn dividend, marketing, merger and acquisition strategies, and the management structure. Reuters
Aluminium demand is very strong. We hope that by the middle of next year the market will be balanced

Garmco to diversify its aluminium source
SteelGuru - 06 Jul 2010
MEED reported that the decision by Bahrain’s Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company to stop using Aluminium Bahrain as its sole supplier of aluminium potentially marks the end of an exclusive partnership that lasted for almost 30 years.
Garmco has said that Alba will still supply its aluminium until 2012, but after that the company hopes to source its primary metal from both Alba and other smelters across the GCC.
With Garmco looking to diversify supply away from Alba, questions have been asked whether the Bahraini smelter can justify its expansion plans that will raise capacity to 1.2 million tonnes per year. The answer is yes.
The growth rate for primary aluminium is 5% per year which is about 2 million tonnes. Alba is planning to raise capacity by about 330,000 tonnes per year so the tonnage it loses from Garmco’s 160,000 tonnes per year rolling mill is not going to affect the company greatly.
Another important factor is Alba has almost 40 years of experience and sells its metal in markets across the world, as well as to the metals park that surrounds the smelter in Bahrain. They are hardly likely to hit the panic button.
From Garmco’s perspective, the move to diversify its supply comes as it is planning USD 350 million, 200,000 tonnes per year rolling mill next to Sohar Aluminium’s smelter in Oman. If the firm is planning further expansion elsewhere then having a number of smelters in the region supplying it with metal is a logical next step.
(Sourced from MEED)

Behind the wrangle for Guinea's minerals
Financial Times - Tom Burgis - 13 hours ago
In the 18 months since the west African nation's military-backed government invited the former UBS banker to return home and become

Shannon's Aughinish refinery continues to make a loss
Irish Independent - July 05 2010
RUSSIAN-owned Rusal Aughinish, the largest alumina refinery in Europe, located on the Shannon estuary, recorded pre-tax losses of $26.3m (€20.9m) last year as revenues plummeted 62pc to $252m (€201m).
Accounts just filed to the Companies Office by Limerick Refining Alumina and subsidiaries, whose principal activity is the production and sale of alumina, show the company's turnover dropped by $412m (€329m) from $664m (€530m) in the 12 months to the end of last December.
The figures show that in spite of the significant drop in turnover, pre-tax losses at the company fell by 29pc from $37.3m (€29.8m) in 2008 to $26.3m (€21m) to the end of December 2009.
Earlier this year, the Aughinish refinery was valued at $1.2bn (€1bn) by its Russian parent, United Company Rusal.
Controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the Russian company purchased Aughinish Alumina from Swiss trading firm, Glencore, in 2007.
Rusal -- the world's largest aluminium producer -- reported an $821m (€655m) net profit across the group last year and a net profit of $247m (€197m) for the first quarter of this year on the back of a surge in demand for aluminium.
However, in spite of combined operating losses of $65m (€52m) over the past two years, Limerick Alumina Refining and subsidiaries had accumulated profits of $221.4m (€176.6m) by the end of last December.
The firm's sales are derived from the sale of alumina to non-EU countries. The numbers employed dropped from 472 to 451 last year.
Last year, management at the Limerick plant placed workers on shorter hours in response to a drop in demand and price for aluminium and alumina.
A breakdown of the numbers employed at the refinery show that professional/management positions fell by 13 to 153, and craft positions fell by eight to 131, while operator positions remained static at 167.
Remuneration to directors last year increased from $1m (€0.8m) to $1.6m (€1.3m).

The cost of carbon consensus
Business Spectator - 2 Jul 2010
If Julia Gillard wants community consensus on a carbon price, as she said at the weekend, she needs to start by telling Australians some hard truths.
The first is that achieving the Rudd government’s goal of national greenhouse gas emissions falling 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, a goal shared by the Coalition, will require a carbon price of at least $30 per tonne.
This will result in an increase in the wholesale price of electricity on the eastern seaboard of between 40 and 50 per cent, flowing through to end-user costs (because energy is half the retail price of power) as a 20 to 25 per cent price hike.
This will be on top of the estimated 40 per cent increase in power bills facing most Australians over the next three years because of regulated rises in network charges, not to mention the cost of the amended renewable energy target, approved by federal parliament last week, which is forecast to add 6 percent to retail bills by 2020.
The required major impact on greenhouse gas emissions from a carbon charge can only come about if older, less efficient coal-burning power stations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are closed down and replaced by gas-fuelled operations.
Pursuing large-scale renewable alternatives, as proposed by Zero Carbon Australia last week, will cost a great deal more.
The cumulative impact of higher power prices will be felt by energy-intensive manufacturers, who directly employ more than a million Australians.
More than half the impact – from network charges and from the RET – was not included in the energy cost compensation the Rudd government proposed for householders under the defunct emissions trading scheme, and the level of handouts modelled by the Treasury in the ETS process was not based on a $30 per tonne carbon price.
The ACTU, in its submission to the (former) Prime Minister’s task group on energy efficiency last month, said: “The transition to a low carbon economy is important for regional employment (and) Australia needs to maintain its status as a best practice producer of iron and steel, aluminium, cement, plastics, glass and paper. This will require assistance for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries or risk losing them overseas.”
The peak trade union organisation says a sensible transition to a lower-carbon economy will see these “traditional industries” – conventionally lumped together as “the big polluters” by media reporters and environmental activists in the 941 days of the Rudd interregnum – becoming sustainable and growing stronger.
In September last year, Gillard said in a speech that the approach to abatement should not lead to slower economic growth, reduced living standards or job losses. Now she needs to tell us what the cost of carbon must be to meet the abatement target. She must provide believable modelling of the impacts and she must persuade the community she can deliver adequate compensation for those most affected, sustain jobs and protect the federal budget.
Her predecessor couldn’t do that in almost three years.

Rush for Aurukun mine's millions
The Cairns Post - July 2, 2010
MINERS are lining up for a crack at Aurukun's rich bauxite deposit, following the collapse of the long-running deal between the Queensland Government and Chalco.
The Chinese aluminium giant has put its plans to develop a lucrative mine at Aurukun on Cape York on hold after the Queensland Government and the company allowed their 2007 agreement to lapse.
Chalco blamed a drop in aluminium prices and difficult global conditions for the decision to shelve the project.
As well, there have been reports the Federal Government’s super mining tax may be behind the shelving.
But the super mining tax may be resolved between the Federal Government and the industry as early as today.
Chalco had two years to complete a feasibility study into the project, but failed to meet its Wednesday deadline.
The company was awarded the permit to mine bauxite on the condition it built a $2.2 billion refinery at Abbot Point near Bowen, south of Townsville.
The company had pledged to spend $30  ?million on indigenous employment in Aurukun, which is a disadvantaged area.
In a statement, Chalco chief executive Xiong Weiping said the company was assessing its options.
"We look forward to discussing new development and investment options for Chalco with respect to the Aurukun resources," he said.
Western Cape Chamber of Commerce chairman Vance Wallin urged the Queensland Government to return the Aurukun lease to tender.
"Realistically, I think it should go back into the melting pot, because (Chalco) has reneged on the smelter side of things," Mr Wallin said.
"That was always part of the deal and now that’s not going on, I think there are a number of companies that would be keen on that lease that should be back in the mix."
One of the companies, Cape Alumina, is expected to announce today its interest in mining the deposit.
The company’s $1.2  ?billion Pisolite Hills project is under threat because of the Wild Rivers status imposed by the State Government on the nearby Wenlock River.
In Townsville yesterday, Premier Anna Bligh said the Government would continue discussions with Chalco.
"They still want to bring the mine to market and we want it to happen," Ms Bligh said.
Opposition mines spokesman Jeff Seeney said Chalco’s decision to let its lease lapse need not stop other investors proceeding with the project.

Novelis expands rolling operations in South America
American Recycler Newspaper - July 2, 2010
Novelis announced that it will invest approximately $300 million to expand its aluminum rolling operations in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil, in response to the growing demand for its products in South America.
The expansion will increase the plant’s capacity by more than 50 percent to over 600,000 metric tons of aluminum sheet per year. The project, which includes the addition of a third cold rolling mill, a new ingot casting center, a new pusher furnace for the hot rolling mill and various ancillary improvements, is expected to come on stream in late 2012.
“We are experiencing strong demand for our products in South America, particularly for beverage can sheet,” said Phil Martens, president and chief operating officer. “Growing per capita income and changes in consumer behavior are driving double-digit growth in demand for beverage cans. Many of our South American customers are accelerating their investments in can making plants and our expansion at Pindamonhangaba will allow us to stay ahead of that demand.”
According to Abralatas (Brazilian Association of Highly Recyclable Cans Manufacturers), can sales in Brazil grew by 11.7 percent in 2009, representing a consumption of 14.8 billion units or 40.5 million aluminum cans per day

Chalco open to new Aurukun options
The Australian - July 01, 2010
Aluminium Corp of China has shelved its planned $3 billion Aurukun bauxite and alumina project in Queensland.
The company, also known as Chalco, cited soaring costs and the depressed state of the aluminium market as the reasons for allowing its development agreement to lapse.
However, with few other potential developers of the project in sight, the state's government has left the door open for a reworked project and Chalco has said it is open to discussing new options.
Chalco's development agreement with the state government lapsed yesterday after it failed to meet an already extended deadline for a feasibility study into the development of a bauxite mine on the Cape York peninsula in the state's far north and an alumina refinery at Bowen on the state's east coast.
The Chinese group, which is the listed unit of China's biggest aluminium producer Aluminium Corp of China, or Chinalco, said conditions in the global aluminum industry had "deteriorated significantly" since the development agreement was signed in March 2007.
Chinalco vice-president Lu Youqing told Dow Jones Newswires the project had been facing the headwinds of high labour costs, rising prices for raw materials for construction as well as fluctuating global aluminium prices.
"The cost was too high for us, and we just don't see the project generating much of a return," he said.
Despite Chalco's failure to honour the development agreement, the Queensland government isn't stripping the Chinese group of the lease for the giant bauxite deposit and has said it will engage in talks over other possible development options.
"While the current agreement can't stand, we will continue discussions with a view, hopefully, to signing a new agreement that might have some different characteristics," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told ABC radio.
Chalco chairman and chief executive Xiong Weiping also said the company was willing to look for new ways to develop the Aurukun resource.
"We look forward to discussing new development and investment options for Chalco with respect to the Aurukun resources, as we continue to seek opportunities to invest in the resources sector in Australia and Queensland," he said.
The Aurukun deposit came up for grabs in 2004 after the state government stripped the lease from then owner Alcan for failing to meet a development deadline.
The subsequent process to find a new developer of the project drew a number of expressions of interest but in the end only Chalco submitted an offer, leading to an agreement that was heralded at the time as marking a new era for Chinese investment in Australia.
Analysts said the government's decision to leave the door open to Chalco was recognition of that fact that few other companies were likely to be willing to spend billions developing the resource when the outlook for the aluminium market was so uncertain.
The most likely alternative developer would be Rio Tinto which has the adjacent Weipa bauxite mine and had been in discussions with Chalco about co-operating on infrastructure.
However, Rio Tinto already has another major bauxite resource to the south of Weipa that it can use to feed its Yarwun refinery so has no great imperative to seek control of Aurukun as well.
A spokeswoman for Rio Tinto declined to comment on the future of the Aurukun deposit.
Chinalco is Rio Tinto's largest shareholder with a 9.3 per cent stake.