Rio Tinto Deciding Future of Australian Aluminum Plant; Primary Indian Aluminum Down

Rio Tinto has begun to review “the future of its loss-making Gove alumina refinery in Australia in light of worsening market conditions, after deciding not to convert the plant to use gas-fired power, the global miner said on Tuesday,” reports Reuters.

“‘Despite considerable efforts to improve the refinery’s performance, continuing low alumina prices, a high exchange rate and substantial after-tax losses for the refinery are key factors under consideration,’ a Rio Tinto spokesman said in an emailed statement.”

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“The comments came after a newspaper reported that the global miner was expected to decide as early as this week to wind down the plant, which is part of the Pacific Aluminiumbusiness that Rio failed to sell and reintegrated into the company in August.”

“Rio said it would still mine bauxite at Gove no matter what happens to the refinery. Bauxite is refined to produce alumina, which is then processed to yield aluminum.”

Dropping 1.1 percent, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum was the biggest mover on Monday, November 25. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum increased 1.0 percent to $1,794 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum gained 0.9 percent to finish at $1,746 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese aluminum billet held steady. The price of Chinese aluminum bar saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row. The Chinese aluminum cash price was unchanged.

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