This Morning in Metals: DOC announces new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system

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aluminum ingot stacked for export

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This morning in metals news: the Department of Commerce announced the rollout of a new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system; meanwhile, in steel, ArcelorMittal announced added capacity in Canada for the production of automotive structural and safety components; and finally, the United States Geological Survey reported mine waste in the eastern Adirondacks could be a source of rare earth element materials.

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DOC announces creation of Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system

A development for which the U.S. aluminum sector has long been waiting is finally here.

The Department of Commerce announced today the imminent launch of a new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system. The system will facilitate the DOC’s collection and publication of aluminum import data.

The system is modeled after the system for steel imports, the Steel Import and Monitoring Analysis (SIMA) system.

“AIM represents yet another step forward for the Administration’s America First trade agenda,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “The new program will enable Commerce and the public to better detect potential transshipment and circumvention involving aluminum products – helping to ensure that domestic producers can compete on a level playing field.”

The DOC said the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system will be available online beginning Jan. 25, 2021.

ArcelorMittal adds capacity aimed at automotive

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal announced the addition of capacity geared toward production of automotive structural and safety components.

“Today, ArcelorMittal Dofasco announced a coating addition of its No.5 Hot-Dipped Galvanizing Line in Hamilton, ON to Aluminum Silicon (Alusi®) for the production of ArcelorMittal’s patented Usibor® Press Hardenable Steel for automotive structural and safety components,” ArcelorMittal announced.

“With the investment, ArcelorMittal Dofasco will become the only Canadian producer of Alusi® Coated Usibor®. This investment complements additional strategic North America developments announced previously, including a new EAF at AM/NS Calvert in the US and a new hot strip mill in Mexico.”

As for cost, the project will come at a price tag of $24 million CAD (U.S. $18.7 million). In addition, the first product will roll off the line in H2 2022, ArcelorMittal said.

Rare earths in Adirondacks?

Lastly, the eastern Adirondacks could prove to be a significant source of rare earth element materials, the USGS reported recently.

“Waste rock from long-closed mines in the eastern Adirondack Mountains, New York, may prove valuable due to its rare earth element content, according to newly published research,” the USGS reported. “The results are from airborne and ground surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and collaborators.”

In the 1800s and 1900s, the eastern Adirondacks saw significant iron ore mining activity, the USGS noted. Furthermore, the mining activity left piles of waste rock and mill tailings, which could be sources of rare earth elements.

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