Australia’s Alumina Has a Problem With Alcoa’s Demerger

Alumina Ltd. is not happy with joint-venture partner Alcoa, Inc. about its announced demerger. Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, was able to increase production and cut costs despite stubbornly low copper prices.

Alumina vs. Alcoa

Australia’s Alumina Ltd. on Monday said it has “serious concerns” about the impact of a demerger plan of U.S. partner Alcoa, Inc. on the pair’s bauxite and alumina production joint venture, Alcoa Worldwide Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC).

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Alumina in a statement said it was concerned the plan would “result in a material adverse change in the nature, size, scope and financial wherewithal of Alumina’s partner in AWAC.”

Codelco Production Increases

Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, boosted output and cut cash costs in the first quarter, even as a steep drop in metals prices prompted the Chilean state-run company to post a $151 million pre-tax loss.

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Production from Codelco’s wholly-owned mines rose to 437,000 metric tons, 11% higher than a year earlier, was mostly due to increases at its century-old Chuquicamata mine and also its newest deposit, Ministro Hales. Its Salvador, El Teniente and Radomiro Tomic mines also helped to boost production.

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