AluNews - November 2017

Vedanta On Track to Surpass Aditya Birla as India's Top Aluminium Producer

Aluminium Insider - November 22nd, 2017

Projected outputs for the current fiscal year show Vedanta Ltd leapfrogging Aditya Birla Group for the number-one spot for aluminium production in India.

According to projections, the current top aluminium producer Vedanta is on pace to turn out 1.6 million metric tons of the metal by the end of the fiscal year. The firm has produced 960 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium this fiscal year to date.

In contrast, Aditya Birla, via its two subsidiaries Aditya Aluminium and Hindalco, is projecting a total aluminium output of 1.32 million metric tons by the close of the current fiscal year. This output is slightly above last fiscal's total aluminium production of 1.26 million metric tons in FY 2017.

"As a group, we will be producing 1.6 million tonne of aluminium in FY18 which is 66 per cent higher than the last year's output of 0.96 million tonne," explained the CEO of Vedanta's Aluminium and Power Division Abhijit Pati.

Leading the company's charge to the top of the heap is an expansion to their operations in Jharsuguda. According to the company, the plant is expected to increase production from 760 thousand metric tons per year to over one million metric tons per annum.

"Four new lines of production are being readied at the Jharsuguda facility out of which work on two and half lines are already over," explained Pati. "The rest work will be completed by this year. So the exit capacity at Jharsuguda in March, 2018 is expected to be 1.4 million tonne."

Although Vedanta had always intended to run at a higher capacity at that location, a power dispute with local electrical companies, coupled with a lack of a consistent supply of alumina, artificially constrained production levels. However, thanks to a newly-minted agreement with power firms and urged on by ever-higher aluminium prices, the road is now open to higher aluminium outputs.

Pati concluded by saying that Vedanta will supply over half of India's total aluminium production once the company's facilities reach nameplate capacity in a few years.

China to Partner with Tajikistan on Aluminium Plant

Aluminium Insider - November 20th, 2017

The People's Republic of China is planning to build a aluminium plant in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan according to an announcement made by the state-owned aluminium firm Tajik Aluminium Company (Talco).

Talco spokesperson Igor Sattarov said Friday that his company has entered into an agreement with China's Yunnan Construction Engineering Group to construct a "joint Tajik-Chinese factory" in Talco's home town of Tursunzoda in the western portion of the country. The plant's projected nameplate capacity will be 500 thousand metric tons, he elaborated.

Bauxite On Growth Path, Says Henry

Jamaica Gleaner - November 16th, 2017

Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry says Jamaica's bauxite and alumina industry is on a growth path, driven by the reopening of the Alpart plant in Nain, St Elizabeth, by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Limited.

The company has proposed to invest some US$3 billion over a three-year period in the upgrading of the 1.65-million-tonnes-per-annum plant, which opened in June.

This will expand production capacity to two million tonnes per annum by the end of 2020, the minister said.

China's Chalco plans to launch Guinea bauxite mine by early 2018

Reuters - November 16th, 2017

A unit of China's biggest state-run aluminum firm, Chinalco, plans to start producing bauxite at its project in the West African nation of Guinea later this year or early in 2018, a company executive said on Thursday.

Guinea has about a third of the world's bauxite reserves but annual output has lingered below 20 million tonnes for years, largely due to political instability.

Henan Smelter Confirms 30-Percent Cut to Aluminium and Alumina Production

Aluminium Insider - November 16th, 2017

Henan's Luoyang Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium announced yesterday that it has curtailed 30 percent of its aluminium and alumina capacity as a response to Beijing's campaign to reduce smog over the winter months.

Chinalco to cut 2 mln T of alumina capacity this winter - exec

Kitco - November 15th, 2017

Chinalco will cut its alumina capacity by 2 million tonnes this winter to comply with pollution-related restrictions on heavy industry, vice president Lu Dongliang told Reuters on Wednesday.

India has mineable Bauxite reserve for next 25 years

The Hitavada - November 13th, 2017

Total Bauxite reserve in India is 3.89 billion tonnes of which 0.656 billion tonnes is mineable

National level meeting held in the city discusses various related aspects to increase mineable reserve to meet future demand

Iran Plans to Be Net Exporter of Aluminium by 2019

Aluminium Insider - November 12th, 2017

According to comments made at Arabal 2017 by officials from the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), Iran is set to become a net exporter of aluminium by 2019.

IMIDRO Director of Planning and Strategic Supervision Amir Sabbagh said in comments to the convention last week that his country's objective at present is to increase domestic aluminium production above its current output of 340 thousand metric tons per annum.

IMIDRO Director of Planning and Strategic Supervision Amir Sabbagh said in comments to the convention last week that his country's objective at present is to increase domestic aluminium production above its current output of 340 thousand metric tons per annum.

"In the short term, Iran will remain a net importer of metal," he continued.

Sabbagh said that Iran has initiated several aluminium construction projects thanks to the recent uptick in petroleum prices.

"From a demand perspective, this will increase with the price of oil–on which the Iranian economy is heavily dependent–with Brent crude having increased 133% from the beginning of 2016 to its current level of around $63." The rise in petroleum has provided the capital needed for more aluminium projects, he said. In addition, the bump in petroleum also boosts aluminium consumption in the country.

"Despite this, by January 2019, the country will add 350,000 tons of new production capacity, so total production capacity will be closer to 800,000 tons, making Iran a net exporter of the metal."

At present South Aluminum Company (Salco) is constructing a 300-thousand-metric-ton-per-annum aluminium smelter in the southern coastal city of Asaluyeh. The project is being funded by the People's Republic of China, which is also in talks with Iran to build a 2-million-metric-ton-per-annum alumina refinery in the same city. The proposed refinery will be fueled by feedstock from Guinea, with which Iran has an agreement in place to import 4 million metric tons of bauxite ore each year.

Strong half-year for Vedanta

Mining Journal - November 10th, 2017

Vedanta's aluminium operations produced a record 753,000t of aluminium during the April-September period, climbing 39% on the year due to smelter ramp ups at Jharsuguda and BALCO.

The company aims to achieve aluminium nameplate capacity of 2.3 million tonnes by the 2020 financial year.

Middle East region posts highest growth rate in aluminium demand

Xinhuanet - November 8th, 2017

The year-on-year demand for aluminium in the Middle East region touched 6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, which was the highest among different regions across the globe, according to a top-level official at Sohar Aluminium.

Gulf aluminium producers have enjoyed an enormous growth in demand for aluminium due to a surge in infrastructure development, Said bin Mohammed Al Masoudi, said, while addressing the Arab International Aluminium Conference (Arabal) conference here on Tuesday.

The Middle East region accounts for 10 percent of total global aluminium production, added Al Masoudi.

Global demand for aluminium outstrips supply by 1.8 million tonnes per annum, which is a positive sign for producers to raise capacity, added Abdullaj Elzhar Hassan, chief executive officer of Egyptian Aluminium Company.

China accounts for around 50 percent of global aluminium production.

Oman's Sohar Aluminium back up to 25% capacity, eyes full output in April

Platts - November 7th, 2017

The Sohar Aluminium smelter has ramped back up to around 25% of capacity after a power outage in August halted operations, the company's CEO, Said Mohammed Al Masoudi, said Tuesday.

Speaking in a panel discussion at the Arabal 2017 conference in Muscat, he said the company was targeting full resumption of operations by April but was hopeful of completing the ramp-up ahead of schedule.

The smelter has an annual production capacity of 375,000 mt/year, but output has been reduced since a power cut on August 4; following the shutdown, a gradual restart began in mid-September.

Sohar produced 35,000 mt of metal in the September quarter, compared with 95,000 mt in the year-earlier period, according to the most recent production report from Rio Tinto, which has a 20% stake in the smelter.