BAUXITE AND ALUMINA
Rio Tinto Alcan’s Q2 bauxite production was 21% higher than the Q2 of 2012. Strong operational performance has driven higher volumes at Weipa in line with increased bauxite requirements from the expanded Yarwun refinery and increased third party demand.
Rio Tinto Alcan’s H1 alumina production was 7% higher compared with the same period in 2012 with greater alumina refining capacity at Yarwun. The impacts of ex tropical cyclone Oswald experienced at both Queensland refineries in the Q1 of 2013 have adversely impacted production in the H1.
Pacific Aluminum’s alumina production was 30% lower than the Q2 of 2012. This followed the shutdown of one of three digestion stages at Gove in late February after inspections identified concerns about the weld integrity on some heat exchangers. These are being refurbished or replaced to bring the digestion stage back on line by the end of the Q4. The temporary shutdown is expected to reduce full year alumina production by 700,000 tonnes compared with 2012. Pacific Aluminum’s full year bauxite production is expected to be in line with 2012. Bauxite exports are being increased to offset the impact of reduced requirements for alumina production.
Rio Tinto Alcan’s Q2 aluminium production was 15% higher than the same period in 2012, reflecting the resolution of the lockout at Alma and the restarting of production following the power outage at Shawinigan. Production at Alma reached full capacity in the first quarter of 2013. Pacific Aluminium and other aluminium production was 6% lower than the H1 of 2012 due to the impacts of the Lynemouth smelter closure in March 2012 and the divestment of the Sebree smelter effective from 1 June 2013.
2013 PRODUCTION GUIDANCE
In 2013, Rio Tinto Alcan’s share of bauxite, alumina and aluminium production is expected to be 34mt (million tonnes), 7.3mt and 2.5mt, respectively. In addition, Pacific Aluminium and other aluminium assets that have been identified for divestment or closure are expected to produce approximately 8mt of bauxite, 2mt of alumina and 1.1mt of aluminium.