RUSAL checks bauxite deposit in northern Russia

RUSAL checks bauxite deposit in northern Russia

Sunday, August 6th 2006

RUSAL, which makes a 10th of the world’s aluminium, said on Thursday it had started exploring a large bauxite deposit in northern Russia that might feed a planned alumina expansion.

RUSAL, the world’s third-largest aluminium producer, said it would spend 200 million roubles ($7.5 million) exploring the Plesetsky area of the North Onega bauxite deposit by mid-2008. “Based on the exploration results, a feasibility study for bauxite mining will be prepared, with the construction of a mining facility started no later than 2011,” RUSAL said in a statement.

The company said the expected volume of bauxite reserves at Plesetsky was 250-300 million tonnes.

RUSAL plans to surpass Alcoa Inc. and Alcan Inc. to become the world’s biggest aluminium producer by 2013, nearly doubling capacity to 5 million tonnes.

It said developing the North Onega deposit would help the company meet its target of becoming self-sufficient in raw materials by the same year.

The company will also conduct an evaluation of bauxite reserves in the Ixinsky area, part of the same North Onega deposit.

“The deposits are viewed by RUSAL as a potential platform for the construction of new alumina refineries,” RUSAL said, withouth giving more details.

Bauxite is the raw material from which alumina is produced. Two tonnes of alumina in turn produce about one tonne of aluminium, a metal used in construction, cars and packaging.

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