AluNews - December 2017

Alcoa Re-Energizes Trio of Aluminium Potlines At Idled Warrick Plant

Aluminium Insider - December 29th, 2017

Southwest Indiana's Christmas became a little merrier when Alcoa Corp. announced this week that the aluminium smelter in Warrick County took steps to resume production for the first time in almost two years.

Company spokesperson Jim Beck told local media on Wednesday that one of the plant's three idled potlines was recently re-energized, which is the first step to returning those lines to full production.

The move, which was first hinted at in an announcement in the summer, is part of Alcoa's plan to put back into operation three of the site's five potlines by next spring. Per Beck, the restart is currently on schedule for bringing the three lines back into production in early April.

According to the firm, the trio of potlines will run at a rate of 161,400 metric tons per annum upon full restart. Primary aluminium smelted at the location will feed the on-site rolling mill.

Bosnia's Aluminij to raise output after import tax scrapped

Kitco - December 29th, 2017

Bosnian aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar said on Friday it expects to boost its annual output by 15 percent to 184,000 tonnes of metal after the government scrapped import taxes on unalloyed aluminium in 2018.

The smelter, based in the southern town of Mostar, produces 130,000 tonnes of primary aluminium annually.

After the Bosnian government decided last week to scrap an import tax on unalloyed aluminium, Aluminij expects to smelt an additional 24,000 tonnes of metal in 2018, it said in a statement.

Alpart to ship first 35,000 tonnes tomorrow

Jamaica Observer - December 28th, 2017

The first shipment of 35,000 tonnes of alumina from Alpart since the plant reopened under Chinese ownership is scheduled to leave Jamaica on Friday, marking the first time alumina is being exported from the company in over eight years, the company said in a release.

Metro Mining signs new offtake for Queensland bauxite mine

Proactive Investors - December 21st, 2017

Metro Mining Ltd has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding regarding an offtake agreement from the Bauxite Hills Mine in Far North Queensland.

The agreement is with Chinese state-owned company SPIC Aluminium and Electric Power Investment Co Ltd.

It covers the supply of 6.5 million tonnes of bauxite over four years starting in 2018.

The Bauxite Hills Mine is on schedule to begin production in April 2018 following the end of the wet season.

The Memorandum of Understanding complements Metro's existing binding offtake agreement with Xinfa for 7 million tonnes over four years.

The company also has a non-binding Letter of Intent with Lubei Chemicals with negotiations regarding a binding offtake agreement continuing.

Agreements represent 100% of initial output

Taken together these agreements represent 100% of the mine's planned output from 2018 and 2019, and 90% of the possible expanded capacity from 2020 and 2021.

Simon Finnis, managing director, said: "Once again this demonstrates the strong appetite for our bauxite in the Chinese refining market, and validates our mining and marketing strategy."

Sales from the SPIC agreement are expected to start in May 2018 with 500,000 tonnes to be supplied in 2018, 1 million tonnes in 2019, 2 million in 2020 and 3 million in 2021.

Vedanta Aiming At Sourcing All Alumina Domestically by 2020

Aluminium Insider - December 19th, 2017

New Delhi metals and mining giant Vedanta Limited plans to increase alumina capacity at domestic refineries over the next several years, aiming at achieving full domestic self-sufficiency by the end of the decade.

According to the firm, Vedanta anticipates reaching the goal of ceasing reliance upon overseas alumina by the ongoing ramp-up at its Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha. The refinery, whose nameplate capacity currently totals between 1.7 million and 2 million metric tons per annum, has garnered approval from the relevant government agencies to increase output to six million metric tons per annum.

Per an unnamed senior Vedanta executive who spoke with local media, the entirety of the planned output is destined to become primary aluminium.

"We feel we should be able to reach our full design capacity at Lanjigarh by 2020. Once the refinery produces six million tonnes of alumina each year, the whole of it would be converted into aluminium. By 2020, Vedanta's aluminium production capacity is expected to reach three mtpa. All our aluminium smelters would run on our own alumina supplies and we are looking at zero alumina imports after the Lanjigarh unit runs at full capacity."

At present the firm imports around one million metric tons of alumina per annum to satisfy its production needs. However, Vedanta's debottlenecking operations are projected to yield 1.6 million metric tons of alumina by the end of the current fiscal year, reducing the need for such imports as well as more than doubling the alumina output of competitor Aditya Birla Group.

Additionally, the firm has winnowed down its bauxite imports from over half its required supply last year to just under a third this year. Vedanta has replaced the difference with domestic production from captive mines at Chhattisgarh as well as from other in-country sources.

Emirates Global Aluminium in deal with Vietnam for alumina supply

Reuters - December 17th, 2017

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) said on Sunday it had signed a three-year alumina supply agreement with a Vietnamese state-owned firm, its first such deal with Vietnam.

EGA, owned equally by Abu Dhabi and Dubai investment funds, has signed the deal with Vinacomin for supply of 300,000 tonnes of alumina per year, it said in a statement.

The deal is the first long-term agreement to supply Vietnamese alumina to the United Arab Emirates, a move that boosts bilateral trade between the two countries, the statement said.

EGA, which currently imports all the alumina it needs, is building the UAE's first alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi with plans to produce two million tonnes of alumina annually. EGA is also building a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.

Norsk Hydro Plans To Double Production Of Primary Aluminium At Husnes

Nasdaq - December 14th, 2017

Norsk Hydro Asa (NHY, NHYDY.PK, NHYDY.PK) announced its decision to upgrade and start up the second production line at Hydro Husnes, Norway. With both lines in operation, production of primary aluminium at Husnes will double. Final build decision is expected in third quarter of 2018. The line is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2020 and will create 90 new positions.

Hydro Husnes produces about 95,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. With the re-start, the plant will produce approx. 190,000 tonnes of aluminium annually.

Ghana to Have Bauxite Refinery in Next 3yrs - Dr Bawumia

All Africa - December 13th, 2017

There is no reason why Ghana should not be refining her own bauxite, and Government is putting in place the necessary legislation and infrastructure to establish a bauxite refinery in the next two to three years, Vice President Dr Bawumia has disclosed.

A bill seeking to set up a Bauxite Development Authority to facilitate the establishment of an Integrated Aluminium Industry will be submitted to Parliament early next year after broad consultations, with the private sector expected to play a key role as part of Government's quest to create jobs and foster greater inclusion in national development.

"Our goal is to have an aluminium refinery in Ghana in the next two to three, years, possibly by 2019. We are going to look at the power and other issues, but there is no reason why we should not be refining our gold or bauxite. There is a clear direction that the President has set, we will go with the Bill to Parliament early next year, and we will move on with the establishment of the refinery."

"We already have an aluminium smelter and we have the bauxite mine; we just need the middle thing, which is the refinery, and then we will see value addition to our minerals."

France-based Miner AMR starts bauxite production in Guinea

Reuters - December 12th, 2017

Paris-based miner AMR began production at its Guinean bauxite mine on Tuesday, aiming to produce between 6 million and 10 million tonnes a year of the aluminium ore, the company said.

EGA Inks Deal to Upgrade Khalifa Port for Increased Bauxite Imports

Aluminium Insider - December 11th, 2017

UAE's Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC (EGA) has come to an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to upgrade and use Khalifa Port for importing raw materials for use in EGA's smelting operations.

SMB plans Guinea alumina refinery by 2022

Kitco - December 4th, 2017

A consortium of the Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Singapore's Winning Shipping plans to build Guinea's first alumina refinery to develop the West African country's bauxite industry, it said on Monday.

Guinea has about a third of the world's bauxite reserves and expects to produce over 30 million tonnes in 2017. However, it has no facilities to transform those reserves into higher-grade alumina.

Construction of the 1 million tonne per year refinery is due to start in 2019 after the completion of environmental impact and feasibility studies. It is expected to be completed in 2022, Bouzigues said.

Will sell 6-7 lakh tonne of alumina & 2 lakh tonne of aluminium in H2FY18: NALCO

Moneycontrol - December 4th, 2017

We will sell around 6-7 lakh tonne of alumina and 2 lakh tonne of aluminium in the second half of FY18, said Chand, CMD of NALCO.