AluNews - May 2017

India's Nalco to open new bauxite deposit at its existing mines

Mining Weekly - May 31st, 2017

Hit by delays in securing a new mine, integrated aluminium producer, National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco), has started the process to open a new bauxite deposit near its existing Panchpatmali mines in Odisha.

The opening up of the new deposit along the south face of its existing mining operations will enable the Indian company to maintain its bauxite production at 6.825-million tons achieved during the 2016/17 financial year, a senior government official says.

In 2015, the 70-million-ton Pottangi bauxite reserves, also located in Odisha, had been reserved for allocation to Nalco, but "bureaucratic hurdles" resulted in delays in handing over the new resource to the company, the official says.

Hence opening up of the south face bauxite deposit at Panchpatmali is an imperative for Nalco's alumina and aluminium capacity expansion plans, he adds.

The integrated aluminium producer has already firmed up plans to install its fifth potline at its smelter in Angul, Odisha. The new potline will add 0.6-million tons a year of aluminium capacity, ramping up the company's total capacity to one-million tonnes. The $1.87-billion project is scheduled for completion in the next three years.

In tandem, the company will expand its alumina refinery capacity, close to its mines, to add another one-million tons a year of alumina production to its existing output of 2.275-million tons a year, to feed the expanded capacity of its smelters and to merchant export the surplus alumina in global markets, the official says.

In the short term, the raw material security for its expansion plans will be met through the opening of new mine at Panchpatmali, but in the long term, Nalco hopes to be using the bauxite reserves at Pottangi.

The official said that the long-term raw material security had to be ensured by the government, as Nalco's corporate strategic plan aimed to achieve a finished aluminium metal production target of one-million tons a year by 2020.

Alpart to resume alumina production June 20

Jamaica Observer - May 26th, 2017

ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica Jamaica's largest alumina refinery Alpart, now owned by Chinese metals giant JISCO, is to resume processing of bauxite to alumina on June 20, eight years after closing down operations in 2009, company officials said today.Patrick James, Alparts assistant managing director, told a visiting People's National Party (PNP) team, led by party President and Leader of the Opposition Peter Phillips, that after several months of repairs and rehabilitation of the 49-year-old plant, the "target of June 20 is in full view of us".

Mining of bauxite ore on the Manchester Plateau to service the resumption of alumina refining will begin next week. Actual transporting of the bauxite down to the plant at Nain is set to begin June 8, he said.

James said that since the sale of Alpart to JISCO by Russian aluminum company UC Rusal last year, hundreds had been employed. There were more than 1000 people currently employed at Alpart with more than 700 being Jamaicans, while 263 are Chinese, he said.

"This activity has ramped up employment in the area (St Elizabeth and Manchester)," James said.

The assistant managing director said young people, including graduates of the HEART skills training programme, were now getting on the job training. However there was a shortage of high-end engineering skills since many former Alpart employees migrated after the refinery closed in 2009.

China's Apr alumina imports jump 146% on year to 250,000 mt; exports fall 64%

Platts - May 24th, 2017

China's import of alumina, or aluminum oxide, rose to 250,000 mt in April, up 146.1% year on year, according to General Administration of Customs data released Wednesday.

The April imports, however, were down 40.5% from March.

Over January-April, China's alumina imports totaled 1.17 million mt, down 12.7% year on year.

China exported 6,509 mt in April, down 64.0% year on year but up 8.2% month on month.

Over January-April, alumina exports totaled 19,459 mt, down 51.0% year on year.

Government to establish Aluminum Development Authority

Pulse - May 20th, 2017

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said cabinet will submit a bill to parliament this fall to establish the Aluminum Development Authority.

Speaking to the Ghanaian community in Guinea, Conakry, the president said Ghana needs "an integrated aluminum industry in Ghana right from the mining of the bauxite to alumina, and the refining of alumina into aluminum."

Describing aluminum as "the metal of the future," Akufo-Addo said the aluminum authority will be responsible for putting together the whole of the infrastructure that is required for the exploitation of the country's bauxite resources at Nyinahin and Kyebi.

"Aluminum is the metal of the future, and we have substantial quantities of the raw material in our country. We need a strategy that will ensure value-addition, and not just exporting it in its raw form. There is no future in the export of our raw materials. But, that, we must add value inside our country, create jobs, and at the end of the process we will have aluminum," he said.

Beijing Shuttered 320,000 MT/Year in Aluminium Capacity in 2016: Information Ministry

Aluminium Insider - May 12th, 2017

The People's Republic of China's aluminium sector shed 320 thousand metric tons per year of aluminium capacity in 2016 according to an announcement on the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website that was published on Wednesday.

The rationale behind the closings is to ease overcapacity in those markets, to save energy, and to cut the country's overall emissions according to the ministry. In addition, the ministry confirmed that such cuts, which targeted outdated and obsolete capacity, were part of an overall strategy by the government to effect supply-side reform in those sectors.

Iran, Guinea agree on bauxite production

Menafn - May 10th, 2017

Iran and #Guinea agreed on a proposal to jointly produce bauxite (primary material for production of aluminium) from mines in the African country and its supply to Iran.

The proposal including a feasibility study was approved by Mehdi Karbasian, head of the #Iran Mines, Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), and Abdoulaye Magassouba, mines and geology minister of Guinea, IMIDRO reported.

The two parties also agreed on cooperation on terms and financing of the project.

Iran owns 51 percent of Societe des Bauxites de Dabola-Tougue Company and will be authorized to extract bauxite in an area of 5,684 square kilometers, according to the agreement.

The mines bauxite reserves are 00 million tons and are of vital importance for Irans aluminium projects in the long term.

Upon the agreement, the two sides have undertaken to do their utmost to remove obstacles and limitations to SBDT Companys project.

Based on the approved roadmap, annually 4 million tons of bauxite will be extracted from the mine and transferred to southern #Iran for production of alumina powder.

Alumina is a refined version of the raw ore bauxite. It is typically used to make aluminium, but in its high purity or 'chemical grade' form, it has non-metal applications that have sensitive military uses.

Irans aluminium ingot production capacity stands at 487,000 tons per year. The figure is planned to reach 823,000 tons by 2020.

Strong Aluminium, Alumina Production Boost Ma'aden's Q1 Numbers

Aluminium Insider - May 9th, 2017

Riyadh's Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) turned in strong financial numbers last quarter thanks in large part due to significant strides in aluminium and alumina production, coupled with the recovery of global aluminium prices.

Ma'aden turned out 369 thousand metric tons of alumina in the quarter, a 5% increase over the previous quarter. The firm exported 300 thousand metric tons of the mineral in the quarter, significant due to the fact that the company now produces more than it can use. Ma'aden says it expects production levels to continue to rise over the course of the current year.

The firm produced 228 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium in the quarter, 5% more than the last quarter's total, and a 4% increase year-on-year. Ma'aden chalks up the increase due to strides made in production efficiency and a greater volume of scrap processed through its recycling facilities. Cash costs fell substantially in the quarter thanks to an increase in production volume, lower fixed costs, lower levels of raw material consumption, and a lower cost of alumina.

Alpart To Build Second Bauxite Plant

Jamaica Gleaner - May 5th, 2017

Finance Minister Audley Shaw says the owners of bauxite company Alpart are to build a second alumina plant.

Shaw made the disclosure at a town hall meeting last night in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

He said the plant is expected to produce 2,000 metric tonnes of bauxite per year.

When the new plant comes on stream, the company will have a combined output of 3,600 metric tonnes per year.

Shaw further said the owners of Alpart are also to build a plant that will produce aluminium foil.

He said 700 people have already received jobs with the reopening of Alpart and thousands more will be added when the new plants are built.