Ceramic Industry News

AWAC Opens Juruti Bauxite Mine in Brazil (posted 9/21/09)

September 21, 2009
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Alcoa recently commissioned the opening of its new bauxite operations in Juruti, Brazil. The Juruti operations, which are part of the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) joint venture with Alumina Limited in which Alcoa holds a 60% share, consist of a port facility, a mine and a 50 km rail system to the port. Initial output at the mine will ramp up to 2.6 million metric tons per year (mmtpy).

Bauxite from Juruti will be shipped to the Alumar alumina refinery in Sao Luis, Brazil, which is undergoing a 2.1 mmtpy expansion program that will bring total production there to 3.5 mmtpy. Following the expansion, Alcoa Aluminio and AWAC combined will hold a 54% share of the refinery. The remaining share is held by BHP Billiton (36%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (10%). The Alcoa share of the combined investment for the two Brazil initiatives is approximately $2.2 billion and will place Alcoa’s overall manufacturing system in the top quartile on the global cost curve in terms of low-cost production. The refinery expansion is on schedule for commissioning later this fall.

“We have taken steps to make the Juruti project the best mining project in the world-world-class in terms of efficiency and our commitment to sustainable development principles,” said Franklin Feder, president of Alcoa Latin America. “This mine will serve our operations in Brazil and lower our costs. At the same time, we will mine bauxite and return the area to the same, if not better, condition than when we initially arrived. Our commitment is to deliver on both the business efficiency and the stewardship of the region.”

The Juruti Project will mine and re-vegetate a total of 6000 hectares over a period of 40-60 years. Recognizing that no permanent deforestation is acceptable, Alcoa has been working with non-government organizations and re-forestation experts for years to ensure that the mined-out areas will be totally re-vegetated with native species. For every Brazil nut tree removed during the mining process, Alcoa will replant 10 trees. In addition, for every other species of tree impacted during the process, Alcoa will replant two trees for each tree removed. In total, Alcoa estimates that it will plant 15 million trees in the Juruti region over the next 50 years.

For more information, visit www.alcoa.com/juruti.

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