Rio Tinto Q1 bauxite production update

Steel Guru - April 19th, 2018

Rio Tinto announced that bauxite production of 12.7 million tonnes was 12% higher than the first quarter of 2017, primarily driven by operational improvements.

Alcoa says Rusal impact hard to predict; will divert 800,000 mt of bauxite to market

Platts - April 18th, 2018

Alcoa will redirect to the market 800,000 mt of bauxite previously committed to Rusal, the aluminum giant affected by newly imposed US government sanctions on Russian entities and individuals, CEO Roy Harvey said Wednesday.

Harvey also predicted global deficits in both aluminum and alumina this year.

Asked repeatedly during a conference call about the ultimate impact of the Russia sanctions, Harvey offered variations of the same reply: The situation is incredibly complex and difficult to predict.

Metro Mining kicks off mining at Bauxite Hills in Far North Queensland

Proactive Investors - April 16th, 2018

Metro Mining Ltd has started mining at its Bauxite Hills project in Far North Queensland with the first bauxite shipment to China expected this month.

Initial mining is at an annual rate of 2 million tonnes and this will ramp-up to 6 million tonnes over the first four years, subject to expansion capital.

Government approvals are in place to mine up to 10 million tonnes per annum at the operation on Cape York.

The first shipment of 60,000 tonnes to China is expected to take place this month.

Bauxite Hills has an estimated ore reserve of 92.2 million tonnes and a total resource of 144.8 million tonnes with an estimated 17-year mine life.

China’s Exports of Aluminium Reach Fourth-Highest Total Ever in March

Aluminium Insider - April 15th, 2018

Despite fighting what may prove to be the opening skirmishes of a wider trade war, exports of aluminium from the People’s Republic of China reached nine-month highs last month.

Per China’s General Administration of Customs, exports of raw aluminium and aluminium products were 10.2-percent better than last March’s overall total, coming to 452 thousand metric tons for the month. That total represents the fourth-highest volume of exports in a single month ever recorded by the administration.

Exports in the month were 22.2 percent above those of February, which totaled 370 thousand metric tons.

Global bauxite production to grow: BMI

Mining - April 14th, 2018

A new report issued by BMI research states that global bauxite production growth will accelerate over the coming years as new projects come online in Australia, India's production ramps up, and Indonesia re-enters the market following the end of the mineral ore export ban.

According to the firm, Indonesia is bound to become a big player as it reclaims its share of bauxite exports to China. "We forecast Indonesia's bauxite production growth to register an annual average of 24.4% during 2018-2027, compared to 77.1% over the previous ten-year period. We expect output to increase from 7.5mnt in 2018 to 43.3mnt by 2027," the report reads.

BMI says that the relaxation of the ban on bauxite exports has allowed companies to step back into the market with a stronger foot. In July 2017, the government allowed PT Dinamika Sejahtera Mandiri to export 2.4mnt of bauxite, and in September 2017 PT Laman Mining received an annual export quota of 2.9mnt of bauxite. Also, in April 2017, the Mining Ministry announced their recommendation to PT Aneka Tambang to export 2.7mnt of nickel ore and 850kt of bauxite.

Although threatened by Indonesia's comeback, Australia, the world's top producer of bauxite, is expected to hold its ground in terms of presence in the Chinese market and maintaining a steady output growth.

The report says that such growth will be supported by Rio Tinto's expansion at the Weipa mine and the new Amrun project. "In Q317, Rio Tinto reported a 4% y-o-y increase in bauxite production to 12.9mnt, driven by strong performances at the Gove and Weipa mines," BMI explains and adds that that US-based Alcoa's plans to increase bauxite export capability from its operations in Western Australia to meet rising Chinese demand will also play an important part in output growth.

Similarly, India is also expected to increase its bauxite production. The rise, which should be from 30.9mnt in 2018 to 49.7mnt by 2027, would be backed by a government ordinance that asks domestic aluminum demand to be met with local bauxite and by a predicted five-fold increase in mining lease area in Odisha.

On the no-so-positive side of things, BMI sees China's bauxite production stagnating due to deteriorating quality of reserves and a government-led initiative to consolidate the sector over the coming years. "We forecast China's bauxite output to edge higher, from 66.1mnt in 2018 to 76.9mnt by 2027, averaging 1.7% annual growth. This represents a notable slowdown compared to the previous 10-year average growth rate of 8.3%.," the document reads.

Vedanta Firms Up Steady Local Bauxite Supply for Lanjigarh Refinery at OMC Auction

Aluminium insider - April 13th, 2018

The results of Odisha Mining Corporation’s (OMC) first-ever bauxite auction were a boon for Vedanta, who finally secured a steady stream of affordable bauxite ore for its refinery at Lanjigarh.

The deal is currently projected to have OMC providing 800 thousand metric tons of bauxite to Vedanta over the course of the current financial year.

Vedanta has imported bauxite ore from both distant Indian states and from suppliers in Guinea. The proposition has been expensive, leading the firm to operate the 2-million-metric-tons-per-annum refinery at half capacity for several years.

Thanks to the new deal, the refinery will step up production in the coming years. Though the OMC mine has permission to bring 3 million metric tons of bauxite to the surface annually, logistical bottlenecks will restrict production to 1.26 million metric tons in the mine’s first year of production.

In addition to the deal struck by Vedanta, OMC also reached agreements with Hindalco and Anrak Aluminium. Hindalco secured an agreement to buy 105 thousand metric tons, while Anrak has agreed to buy 65 thousand metric tons. Vedanta struck a deal for an additional 20 thousand metric tons in a separate deal.

Vedanta Limited achieves record annual production of aluminium for 2017

Economic Times - April 11th, 2018

Vedanta Limited achieved record annual production aluminium for the year ending March, 2018 the company said in a notification to BSE.

Production of aluminium stood at 1,675 KT for the year, 38% higher than last year owing to ramp up of additional pots at the Jharsuguda -II smelter and complete ramp up of BALCO-II smelter in the first quarter. Alumina production was flat.

Brazil's Albras to halve aluminum production due to Alunorte alumina supply cut

Platts - April 10th, 2018

Brazilian aluminum smelter Albras will curtail 50% of its production due to a lack of alumina supply from Alunorte, forced to halve its own production in March due to environmental issues, Norsk Hydro, which owns both Brazilian entities, said Tuesday.

The process to reduce halve production at Albras, which produces 460,000 mt/year of primary aluminum, will be initiated shortly, Norsk Hydro said in a statement.

Tiwai Point smelter looking secure

Radio New Zealand - April 10th, 2018

The future of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is looking secure despite trade wars, United States tariffs, arguments over power costs, and a for sale sign still hanging around.

Chief executive Gretta Stephens said the smelter's outlook had improved since it settled its power supply issues and global demand and prices have increased.

"Hydro-powered aluminium such as ours with a low carbon footprint is the right way to make aluminium into the future, and when there's a levelised price on carbon I think you'll see smelters such as this really hit their straps," she told RNZ Business.

Ms Stephens is leaving the smelter in June to run the Glenbrook steel mill, south of Auckland.

She said the smelter had been through testing times in her four years but had survived because of the tenacity of the staff and Southland region.

Capacity boost for Vedanta

Telegraph India - April 9th, 2018

Odisha government has given its nod to the Vedanta Limited's proposal to increase its Lanjigarh alumina refinery plant's capacity from one million tonne to six million tonne.

An official source said: "Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has given his nod to the expansion of the plant. The Vedanta has been asked to submit the plan for value addition in the state for expanded capacity."

According to the plan, the state government would supply the required bauxite to the Lanjigarh plant through the state-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). The OMC has zeroed in on one of the mines - Kodingamali - for this purpose.

Bahrain's Alba posts record production in Q1

Zawya - April 8th, 2018

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has posted a record sales volume of 251,637 metric tonnes (mt) for the first quarter of the year, up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year (YoY), while production stretched by 4.3 per cent YoY to reach 259,399 mt.

Alba’s chief executive officer Tim Murray said: “Despite the market’s volatility, we continue to capitalize on our culture of ‘always do better than necessary’ and were able to stretch our targets thanks to our operational efficiency and dedication of our employees.”

“We aim to continue with the same momentum to reach 1 million mt production by the end of 2018,”he added.

Rusal to launch bauxite mine in Guinea

Tass - April 5th, 2018

Rusal will start mining bauxites at the Dian-Dian mine in Guinea before the end of April, the company's president Vladislav Soloviev told reporters.

"By the end of April, we will start the mine with the capacity of 3 million tonnes (a year - TASS). There are plans to increase the capacity up to 5 mln tonnes, but their implementation depends on infrastructure capabilities, in particular, on the throughput of the railway. We will work on it," he said.

Diane Dian is the world's largest bauxite deposit.

Aluminium exports surge 34% on higher output, fall in consumption

Business Standard - April 3rd, 2018

Aluminium exports from India have recorded a sharp rise of 34.02 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) during April-January, 2017-18 on expanding domestic production and fall in consumption at home. .

Exports of the metal rose from 0.97 million tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes in the period.

The production of primary aluminium in April-February in the last financial year expanded 5.8 per cent y-o-y from 1.58 million tonnes to 1.67 million tonnes.

US alu industry ponders case for new smelter

American Metal Market - April 3rd, 2018

Interest in building a new primary aluminium smelter in the United States appears to be growing among some in the industry, largely due to the 10% tariff on imports of the product signed by President Donald Trump last month.

There is growing sentiment in the US that a new smelter can and should be built – and the idea is attracting interest from others in the industry, one market participant told American Metal Market on Monday April 2.

The 10% tariff would be a strong part of any effort to build a new smelter since it would likely shield US players from unfair Chinese competition, which has been an issue for primary producers for years, he said.

But other factors are making building a smelter more viable than it has been in a long time.

NALCO sets world record in bauxite mining

The Statesman - April 3rd, 2018

“National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), has been credited for the lowest cost producer of alumina in the world and recently it has set a record in bauxite mining,” said CMD Dr Tapan Kumar Chand.

He lauded the mines and refinery team for achieving 100 per cent capacity utilisation in mines and refineries. He referred to starting of new mines in south block Panchpatmali as a bold step forward.

EGA Plans First Alumina Refined at Al Taweelah in First Half of 2019

Aluminium Insider - April 2nd, 2018

United Arab Emirates aluminium smelter Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC revealed last week that it anticipates refining the first batch of alumina at Al Taweelah at some point in the front half of next year, over a year beyond the initially-planned start date of late 2017.

The refinery, which is expected to ultimately boast a capacity of 2 million metric tons per annum, will feed the entirety of its output to EGA’s smelters. However, the firm has established no timetable for the alumina refinery to achieve peak production according to company spokesman Simon Buerk.

Upon reaching full production, the company says the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will fill 40 percent of its alumina needs, with the balance to be met via overseas suppliers. The refinery will be fueled by bauxite ore purchased from Guinea’s Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee.