Aluminium International Today July August 2018

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VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS July/August 2018—Vol.31 No.4


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Volume 31 No. 4 – July/August 2018 Editorial Editor: Nadine Bloxsome Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855115









Production Editor: Annie Baker July/August 2018—Vol.31 No.4


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MINING & REFINING 13 Improving global sustainability in bauxite

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UPDATES 6 USA Update: Restarting US capacity 10 Russia Update: Supporting the domestic

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Status of bauxite-alumina industry in India

and future prospects


Australian bauxite mining:

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Sustainable guidelines explained


Event preview: Alumina 2018

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CASTHOUSE 29 Grain refining technology of the future


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Casthouse solutions

VALUE-ADDED 35 Aluminium alloys in aerospace 36 Helping architects build taller cities

ALUMINIUM INTERNATIONAL TODAY is published six times a year by Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1QX, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855000 Fax: +44 (0) 1737 855034 Email: Aluminium International Today (USO No; 022-344) is published bi-monthly by Quartz Business Ltd and distributed in the US by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville, PA. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Aluminium International c/o PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Printed in the UK by: Pensord, Tram Road, Pontlanfraith, Blackwood, Gwent, NP12 2YA, UK


FUTURE OF ALUMINIUM 39 Investing in technology to achieve long-term



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Smart aluminium production processes in times of Industry 4.0

DIRECTORY + PROFILES Taster page / Exhibitor profiles 43

July/August 2018

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Karmøy in full production Aluminium is coming home I was delaying writing my comment this month just in case football actually did ‘come home’, but it wasn’t meant to be this time! However, in a somewhat tedious link, it seems the aluminium industry is ramping up its recycling efforts and working towards an even tighter closed loop to ensure that aluminium ‘comes home’. With more stories in the news recently highlighting the danger of plastics on our environment, especially the oceans, it is a credit to our industry to see that the can recycling rate is now at 74% across Europe. The facts are clear: - Recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to the ‘primary’ production process. - Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of CO2 emissions. We all know the ways we can help to do our bit and it is great to see companies across the aluminium manufacturing and processing sectors working to not only improve recycling rates, but provide greener, cleaner aluminium at the source. This issue includes a special focus on mining and refining, with a look at improving global sustainability in bauxite mining, a feature on casthouse technology, value-added product market opportunities and also a selection of articles related to Industry 4.0...Enjoy! July/August 2018

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All 60 electrolysis cells are now in operation at the Karmøy technology pilot, where Hydro aims to industrialise the world’s most climate and energy efficient aluminium electrolysis technology. “Our aim is to be the global leader in technology and innovation in our industry, and the Karmøy pilot helps advance that ambition and ensures that the Norwegian technology cluster remains the global leader in sustainable aluminium production,” says Hydro president and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. The technology that is being tested at Karmøy will have the lowest CO2 footprint and will use 15% less energy during production compared to the world average in aluminium production. The technology consists of 48

cells with 12.3 kWh/Kg HAL4e technology and 12 cells with 11.5-11.8 kWh/kg HAL4e Ultra technology. This is well under the world average of 14.1kWh/kg aluminium and Hydro’s own average of 13.8 kWh/kg aluminium. The first cell was started in January, while the last one was started Tuesday this week. During the start-up, Hydro has gradually increased the aluminium production in the pilot, tuning in all the equipment supporting the cells, handling the high magnetic fields and delivering on a new level of operational precision. “The safe and successful startup of the technology plant is a great achievement for the organisation, and very promising for the next phase - running the pilot at full-scale to verify this technolo-

gy,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, who heads the Primary Metal business area in Hydro. Several of the elements from the technology can be used in existing plants to lower energy consumption and improve productivity. Technology spin-offs to existing production lines in Hydro will contribute to Hydro’s capacity creep ambition of an additional 200,000 tonnes per year by 2025 vs 2015. The total capital expenditures for the technology pilot is NOK 4.3 billion, supported by a contribution of close to NOK 1.6 billion from Enova, a Norwegian public enterprise which supports new energy and climate-related technology. Innovation Norway provided NOK 22.5 million in the early development of the pilot.

Future Aluminium Board announced The organisers of the Future Aluminium Forum, Quartz Business Media, have established an Advisory Board to develop a strategic approach towards integrating Industry 4.0 across the aluminium manufacturing and processing sectors. The first Future Aluminium Forum was held on 8th & 9th May 2018 in Milan, Italy and saw more than 150 delegates from across the aluminium manufacturing and processing industries gather to

hear from technical experts and uncover the myths behind Industry 4.0 and what this means for the manufacturing value chain. One of the most important points raised at this inaugural event was the industry needs to work together in order to streamline efficiency and create an environment open to innovation. The Future Aluminium Forum Advisory Board is made up of experts and familiar faces from across the sector, who are on

hand to offer knowledge on areas for development and discuss how the industry can work together as we enter the digital manufacturing age. You can view the members of the Board online ( and there is also an option to ask them a direct question if you would like to know more about how Industry 4.0 is impacting aluminium manufacturing and processing. Aluminium International Today

17/07/2018 09:28:11


Wenatchee Smelter update Alcoa has announced that it will make a $62.4 million payment under an electricity supply agreement for its smelter in Wenatchee, Washington, and will permanently close one of four potlines at the fully curtailed facility. In connection with the planned payment on June 19, 2018, and the closure of the one potline, the Company will record an estimated charge of $73 million (pre- and after-tax), or $0.39 per share, in the second quarter of 2018. The payment to the Chelan Public Utility District (Chelan PUD) was triggered by a recent decision of

Alcoa management to not restart the Wenatchee smelter within the term provided in the amended electricity supply agreement. Under the agreement, which expires on October 31, 2028, Alcoa receives 26 percent of the electric generation from two Chelan PUD hydropower projects for the Wenatchee smelter. During the smelter’s curtailment, Chelan PUD sells unused power on Alcoa’s behalf, and the proceeds are applied toward Alcoa’s costs under the agreement. Other than these monthly power transactions, there are no other required payments.

The potline planned for closure, Line 3 (capacity of 38,000 metric tons per year), has not operated since 2001, and the investments needed to restart that line are cost prohibitive. Three other lines at the Wenatchee site, with 146,000 metric tons per year, have been curtailed since December 2015. Another line at the Wenatchee site was permanently closed in 2004. The closed portions at the Wenatchee site will be evaluated for potential redevelopment, which will not affect the status of the three remaining curtailed potlines.

RUSAL shipping Bauxite UC RUSAL has announced the completion of the first stage of development of the Dian-Dian bauxite deposit in Guinea and the commencement of ore export shipments. During this first stage, RUSAL has commissioned a mine with an annual capacity of three million tonnes of bauxite and has built the entire associated infrastructure to serve the mine (in particular, roads and a railway line) for the transportation and storage of ore. The

opening ceremony was attended by the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, the Russian Ambassador to Guinea, Alexander Bregadze, as well as the management of RUSAL. “For the last 15 years RUSAL has remained one of the largest investors in the economy of Guinea. The mutually beneficial nature of our cooperation with the Government of Guinea, within the framework of the Dian-Dian project, continues to contribute to improving the investment climate in this West

African country. The commissioning of the bauxite mine means not only the creation of new jobs and increased employment for the local population, but also new opportunities for the development of the economy of Guinea,” said Yakov Itskov, Director of the Alumina Division at UC RUSAL. RUSAL owns the development rights for Dian-Dian, which is the world’s largest bauxite deposit with proven reserves of 564 million tonnes.

EGA to supply Aludium Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has signed a five-year agreement to supply Aludium with rolling slab. Aludium owns three former Alcoa rolling mills in Spain and France. EGA has supplied Aludium with metal since 2017. Rolling slab is processed into plate, sheet and foil products which are used in industries from automotive to printing and packaging. The agreement was signed at EGA’s Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi by EGA’s Chief Marketing Officer

Walid Al Attar and Aludium’s Chief Executive Officer, Arnaud De Weert. Walid Al Attar, Chief Marketing Officer of EGA, said: “We are pleased that Aludium has chosen to secure these long-term supplies of rolling slab from EGA. We look forward to reliably supplying Aludium with the high-quality rolling slab they need to make their products over the years to come.” Arnaud De Weert, Chief Executive Officer of Aludium, said: “We are pleased to have secured a multi-year agreement for high-qual-

ity rolling slabs. Aludium will be working with a smelter which has a secure and long-term energy and raw material base, and which is committed to the highest standards of quality.” EGA has the capacity to produce some 400,000 tonnes of rolling slab per year at its Al Taweelah site in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. EGA produced 2.6 million tonnes of aluminium last year and was the world’s biggest producer of ‘premium aluminium’ or value-added products.


Gervais Jacques, Managing Director - Atlantic, at Rio Tinto Aluminium, has been appointed Chair of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), at the 93rd meeting of its Board of Directors in Hong Kong. Jacques has over 25 years experience across all facets of Rio Tinto’s aluminium operations. Prior to his current role, Jacques was Chief Commercial Officer Rio Tinto Alcan, responsible for all the commercial and marketing activities worldwide for bauxite, alumina and aluminium. As IAI Chair he succeeds Hilde Merete Aasheim, Executive Vice President of Hydro’s Aluminium Metal business, at the end of her twoyear tenure.

Can recycling at 74% The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland increased by 0.7% to a new record level of 73.6% in 2015. This is well above the recently approved new EU 2025 recycling target of 65% for all packaging.

Kentucky: Recycling hub A report from the Aluminum Association has ranked the state of Kentucky No. 1 nationally in per capita jobs creation in the aluminium sector. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, there are about 200 aluminium-related companies in Kentucky. About 100 new facilities or expansion projects in the recycling and downstream aluminium sector have been announced in Kentucky since the beginning of 2014.

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ASI certifies foil roller Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) has announced the third certification issued against its newly launched standards for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. ASI Certification of the Constantia Teich facility signifies that Constantia Flexibles’ practices meet the industry’s highest standards. Constantia Teich is the largest company within the European

flexible packaging industry and in 2017, their team of 960 people produced 1.1 billion square metres of aluminium foils and 67,000 tonnes of packaging foils. Constantia Flexibles is a founding member of ASI. Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer at ASI said “ASI warmly congratulates Constantia Teich on their important achievement of ASI Certification, still only fve

2018 DIARY months after the launch of the ASI program. Aluminium packaging is a critical sector for aluminium use, directly touching billions of consumers every day. Every part of the supply chain has a role to play in rolling out ASI’s Standards, and it is a great pleasure to see Constantia Teich leading the aluminium foil rolling sector as the second company to attain ASI Certification.”

Alumina 2018* Alumina 2018 is organised by the Alumina Quality Workshop (AQW) Inc. and is expected to attract 300 industry producers and suppliers to the city from all over the world. Held in Queensland, Australia

12 - 14

dreds more in the supply chain and regional economy, has been made possible by commitments, secured by GFG, from major French car manufacturers. This support will

give the group the necessary time to implement its improvement plans for the business. The plant has capacity to make two million alloy wheels a year.

World’s first POAL recycling plant The world’s first POAL recycling plant for producing Ecoallene will start in Italy in September 2018. POAL is a polyethylene + aluminium polycomposite recovered from food packaging. The plant will recover POAL and

then turn it into a new recyclable material suitable for use in automotive, construction, giftware and other markets. This pioneering project, developed by an engineering company AMUT together with the Italian

start-up Ecoplasteam, will be having an initial capacity of recycling 7000 tonnes of recovered POAL every year. Ecoplasteme carries out both technology for POAL treatment and washing the extrusion line to turn the final materials into pellets.

Harsco acquires ALTEK ALTEK has announced that the Harsco Corporation (NYSE: HSC) has completed the acquisition of ALTEK Group, consisting of their UK operation ALTEK Europe Ltd., their US operation ALTEK LLC and Inductelec Ltd, their subsidiary Induction technology company. The acquisition of ALTEK by Harsco is driven by a strategic move to grow their environmental solutions business and expand July/August 2018

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International Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium Society (IBAAS) The symposium organising committee is formulating a world class program focusing on key topics and issues in the bauxite, alumina, aluminium and aluminium downstream industry and secondary sectors. Held in The Leela, Mumbai

09 - 14

GFG Alliance wins bid British group, Liberty Engineering, owned by industrialist Sanjeev Gupta has won its bid to secure the last remaining French manufacturer of aluminium wheels, AR Industries (ARI) and the hundreds of jobs that depend on it. The acquisition marks a further expansion of GFG’s presence in the global automotive sector and is the latest step in the group’s strategy to establish a major industrial presence in France. It follows the recent announcement that the UK group is also buying Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto. The plan for the ARI plant, which will save around 350 jobs and hun-

September 05 - 07

their capabilities in industrial waste management services. “This acquisition is a very positive step forward for ALTEK, providing the company with a strong financial owner who is committed to supporting ALTEK’s growth and innovation strategy. With Harsco’s extensive international presence and company infrastructure, Harsco will greatly enhance the ability of ALTEK to provide

service and support to its international customer base. This will be particularly helpful as we commercialise our latest technology AluSalt™ around the world. With very similar and aligned values between the two companies, all of this will provide for a very exciting future for ALTEK with Harsco and the customers we serve within the aluminium industry,” says Alan Peel, Managing Director, ALTEK.

33rd International Aluminium Conference* This September, arm yourself with up to date market analysis and learn how to utilise the current state of the market. Held in Berlin, Germany international-aluminiumconference/details.html

October 09 - 11 ALUMINIUM 2018* ALUMINIUM is the world’s leading trade show and B2B-platform for the aluminium industry and its main applications. Held in Düsseldorf, Germany

October/November 29 - 01 The International Committee for Study of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium (ICSOBA) The conference will review the status of bauxite, alumina and aluminium industries in the world with emphasis on Brazil. Held in Belem, Brazil

*Pick up a free copy of Aluminium International Today at this event

For a full listing visit www. and click on Events Diary Aluminium International Today

17/07/2018 09:28:14


Restarting US capacity By Myra Pinkham* There have been a number of moves to increase both aluminium smelting, rolling capacity, and even extruding capacity in the United States over the past year or so. Also, several companies have announced their intention to increase, or further increase, their production capacity going forward. This is not all that surprising with a litany of factors supporting such moves, including the strong U.S. economy, rising aluminium prices, growing domestic enduse markets and expectations that recently announced trade cases and aluminium Section 232 tariffs and quotas could crimp supply throughout the U.S. aluminium supply chain. “Clearly the recovery of aluminium prices has played into this,” says Matt Meenan, a spokesman for the Aluminum Association, although he points out that prices could be volatile and that decisions to add or restart capacity need to be long term decisions. London Metal Exchange three-month aluminium has been recently fluctuating between $2,000 and $2,400 per tonne, up from $1,800 to $1,900 per tonne about a year ago. This comes as the U.S. economy – and most global economies as well – is fairly strong, posting 2.2 percent GDP growth in the first quarter, which, while down from 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of

2017, is up from 1.2 percent GDP growth a year earlier. This is being helped along by several strong aluminium consuming sectors, particularly the automotive industry. Even though it is generally believed that North American automotive output peaked in 2016, it has done so at a very high level, with North American light vehicle production expected to be somewhere between 17.0 million to 17.5 million units this year. At the same time, the overall aluminium penetration per vehicle is continuing to grow, observes Ganesh Panneer, vice president and general manager – automotive for Atlanta-based Novelis Inc, who says that according to a recent study by Ducker FSG, the overall aluminium penetration in light vehicles is expected to grow from about 400 lbs. per vehicle in 2015 to about 456 lbs. in 2020 and over 565 lbs. per vehicle by 2028, despite some uncertainty about the future of proposed fuel economy regulations. Meanwhile, aluminium demand from other U.S. end use markets is also strong, especially the construction and truck and trailer sectors, Meenan says, noting that even the aluminium can market, which had been flat to slightly down has recently moved marginally up year over year, helped by greater use of aluminium cans for craft beer and carbonated water.

There are, however, some concerns about whether certain stimulus measures, including recent trade actions, has resulted in “a little bit of a sugar high,” John Mothersole, director of research for IHS Markit’s pricing and purchasing service, points out, possibly creating some short-term volatility, however he says that overall the U.S. economy, therefore domestic aluminium demand, should remain strong at least for the next five years or so. “That could continue to justify at least a degree of continued investment in the U.S. aluminium industry over the next several years.” Upstream, several U.S. smelters have recently begun restarting previously idled capacity, which, according to Doug Hilderhoff, a principal North American aluminium analyst with CRU Group, isn’t surprising. “With the better U.S. economic conditions and higher LME prices and Midwest premiums, the economics are much better today for smelters than they have been.” Mark Duffy, president of the American Primary Aluminum Association, notes that while there had been 23 aluminium smelters operating in the United States, producing about 3.6 million tonnes of primary aluminium in 2000, by the fall of 2015 rising global overcapacity resulted in a crisis that led U.S. producers to idle,

*US Correspondent July/August 2018

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says. “That’s why several U.S. domestic producers have recently announced that they will be restarting previously idled smelting capacity. Even though they see China as the root cause of their woes, in general primary producers want the tariffs to be as broad and comprehensive as possible. The Aluminum Association, however, takes a different approach – for them to be more targeted, aimed at China vs. against such market economies as the European Union, Canada and Mexico. “The big question, however, if whether the increasingly unfavourable economies in this segment of the U.S. aluminium industry (including high cost of power) has changed enough fundamentally that companies are willing to commit investible

coming months, just slightly later than it originally anticipated when this restart was first announced in July 2017 due to a temporary power outage at the smelter which affected work upon one of the three potlines. The annual capacity of the affected potline is approximately 50,000 tonnes. Hilderhoff says that once the three potlines are fully up and running, the Warrick smelter will be producing at 60 percent of its rated capacity. A company spokesman says that, at least at this time, Alcoa hasn’t decided to step up its primary aluminium capacity at any of its other smelters. In fact, in mid-June the company announced that it was permanently closing one of the four potlines at its Wenatchee smelter in Malaga, Wash. The company said it was

dollars to build new smelting capacity,” Mothersole says, stating that he doesn’t believe that is the case. “I don’t think that anyone with a medium- to long-term planning horizon can assume that the Section 232 tariffs will remain in place forever,” he explains. “While they might be a longtime feature of the landscape, they aren’t a permanent feature, and, at some point, we are going to go back to the general smelter market fundamentals, including the impact of the cost of electricity,” he maintains. However, through restarts of previously idled capacity, Hilderhoff estimates that U.S. primary aluminium production will move up to 919,000 tonnes by the end of this year and to 1.2 million tonnes in 2019. Alcoa Corp. is on track to restart three of the five potlines – a total of 161,400 tonnes of annual capacity – at its Warrick Operations aluminium smelter near Evansville, Ind., in the next

doing so because that potline, which had a capacity of 38,000 tonnes per year and hadn’t operated since 2001, would be too cost prohibitive to restart. Alcoa didn’t disclose what the fate would be for Wenatchee’s other three potlines, which have been idle since December 2015 and have a total annual capacity of 146,000 tonnes. Chicago based Century Aluminum Co. officially announced this March that it would be restarting all three previously curtailed potlines at its Hawesville, Ky., representing an additional 150,000 tonnes of additional production capacity. In 2015 Century had reduced Hawesville’s production capacity by over 60 percent in response to the global primary aluminium overcapacity, but with this $100 million investment the company plans to get Hawesville back up to its full rated capacity of 252,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year or by the first quarter of 2019 at the latest. Hilderhoff notes that while

JW Aluminum expansion

or close, most of their domestic smelter capacity. In fact, Hilderhoff says by 2017 U.S. smelter production had fallen to only 744,000 tonnes. But over the past year or year and a half – shortly after the Trump administration announced their intention to impose Section 232 tariffs upon aluminium (and steel) imports, companies began announcing plans to restart some of their idled smelter capacity. Yang Cao, a senior metals analyst with Metal Bulletin Research, says that this timing wasn’t coincidental. In fact, he says that the main reasons behind U.S. aluminium producers to restart at least some of their idled smelter capacity was a combination of the 10 percent aluminium Section 232 tariffs and the sanctions levied on Russia’s UC Rusal. This, according to Craig Bouchard, chief executive officer of Braidy Industries Inc., a new company that just broke ground to build an aluminium sheet rolling mill in Ashland, Ky., comes at a time when over the past several years about 85 percent of primary aluminium consumed in the United States had been imported. “The U.S. aluminium market is in deficit, so after the import tariffs were put in place and with the second largest exporter of aluminium to the United States potentially hobbled by sanctions, the focus now shifts to how domestic producers could fill the void,” Cao Aluminium International Today

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the restart activities have already begun, there is still some work that needs to be done before those potlines will begin to produce any incremental tons, as the ramp up process is a lengthy one. Century, however, has not announced any plans to restart any of the idled capacity at its Mount. Holly smelter in Goose Creek, S.C., which is currently operating at about 50 percent of its rated capacity. “It is tough to predict if or when they will do so since they have been in a dispute with their local power authority for several years and any restarting of capacity hinges on their ability to reach an agreement with that power authority,” Hilderhoff explains. Michael Bless, Century’s president and chief executive officer, has said that the delivered power price to Mount Holly is 30-40 percent higher than that to Century’s Kentucky plants. “Adding, or restarting, smelter capacity is all about the cost of electricity,” and could hinge upon aluminium companies going into the electrical power business, including building combustion turbine units to use cheap natural gas dedicated to their smelter, Mothersole says. “But the question is if they could get an independent power provider to build such a gas-fired unit.” The only other announced restart of U.S. smelter capacity is the former Noranda New Madrid, Mo., smelter, which idled in 2016 and acquired out of bankruptcy by Arg International AG and is to be run by its Magnitude 7 Metals LLC unit. While they are already starting to prepare the potlines at New Madrid for restart, Hilderhoff says that Magnitude 7 plans to ramp up the smelter very slowly. It could possibly produce about 20,000 tonnes of primary aluminium this year and nearly 100,000 tonnes in 2019. Even with these restarts – and even if all available U.S. smelter capacity is turned back on – there will not be nearly enough production capacity to meet market demand. Meenan observes that while there is only 2 million tonnes available smelter production capacity (including still idled capacity) in the United States, last year the U.S. market consumed about 5.5 July/August 2018

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million tonnes of primary aluminium. This begs the question of whether companies will announce brownfield expansions, or even new greenfield smelters or whether companies will have to pay higher prices to import primary aluminium. But while Braidy’s Bouchard predicts that foreign companies will announce plans for two greenfield U.S. smelters within the next 12 months, other market observers aren’t so sure that either greenfield or brownfield projects are on the cards given domestic power costs. And if they are, Meenan says that the Aluminum Association would want the smelter base to be expanded in a sustainable way. There have been several midstream and downstream capacity expansions – both for aluminium sheet and extrusions – since 2013 with more underway. While much of this has been aimed at growing automotive aluminium demand, helped by expectations of more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, recent trade action against imports of aluminium foil and common alloy sheet have also helped. Novelis’ Panneer says he believes that whether or not U.S. fuel economy and emissions standards are stepped back, there will continue to be a need for more automotive aluminium for a number of reasons. First of all, consumers favour fuel efficient vehicles. Also, automakers design vehicle platforms based on global, not country-specific, specifications and that the expected growth in demand for hybrid and electric vehicles is also supportive of aluminium use to increase their range by lightening its weight. The most recent moves to increase production of aluminium auto sheet is the construction of two greenfield mills – one by Novelis and another by Braidy. Novelis broke ground in mid-May on a 200,000 tonne per year greenfield rolling mill in Guthrie, Kentucky, which is expected to be operational in 2020. Bouchard says these are the first greenfield rolling mills to be built in the United Sates in over 40 years. In early June, Braidy broke ground on the fledgling company’s mill in East

Park, Ky., near Ashland, Ky. Its first phase, which is expected to be up and running by the second half of 2020, will give it the capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes per year of aluminium sheet (about half of which will 6000-series sheet and half common alloy. Bouchard says Braidy plans to immediately follow that with a 200,000 tonne per year expansion project. He maintains that his mill – both of its phases – are already sold out. Hilderhoff says that currently announced aluminium auto sheet capacity additions should be sufficient to cover the demand growth expected in that sector through 2022 although it isn’t clear whether addition investments will be needed to cover auto aluminium demand beyond that. Prompted by both the affirmation preliminary ruling in the still pending antidumping and countervailing duty trade case against U.S. aluminium common alloy sheet imports from China and growth for common alloy by the construction market, in mid-June JW Aluminum began its previously announced expansion project at its Mount Holly facility in Goose Creek, S.C., that is expected to give it an additional 175 million lbs. of capacity there. Hilderhoff notes that construction demand has be growing by an average of four percent per year over the last several years and is expected to grow by threefour percent in 2018 and 2019. On the foil side, last year, prompted by the successful trade action on aluminium foil imported from China, Sweden’s Granges AB announced plans to not only restart and slowly ramp up its Newport, Ark., light gauge foil mill starting in 2019, but it would also increase the capacity of its Huntingdon, Tenn., mill by about 40,000 tonnes in the second half of next year. This, according to Hilderhoff, is even though domestic foil demand has been relatively steady in line with US GDP growth. “Rather the investments are for the volumes lost by the dumping duties on Chinese imports,” he says, noting that further increases in U.S. foil and common alloy could be possible. � Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 09:57:00


Supporting the domestic aluminium industry By Eugene Gerden* The Russian government is designing a complex of measures, aimed at supporting the domestic aluminum industry, along with the struggling domestic flagship producer Rusal, of which head Oleg Deripaska was included in the US sanctions list and who according to recent statements of Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, is responsible for the development of the aluminium industry in the Russian government. Dmitry Kozak comments: “Measures are being taken to support our aluminium industry. I have already met with this business and discussed everything. Planned measures will be officially announced by the end of the current month.” In addition to direct support to Rusal, the Russian government plans to reach an agreement for the opening of additional sale markets for Russian aluminium, as exports fell by two times for the last two months. In addition, the government plans to solve the potential problem of a shortage of raw materials for the domestic aluminium industry. As part of these plans, the Russian government currently conducts negotiations with the Chinese government about the supplies of alumina for the needs of Rusal, as well as the beginning of exports of Russian aluminium in bars. This has been confirmed by the topmanagement of Rusal, according to which the company is looking for alternative sources of alumina, as sanctions blocked its supplies from mining assets of the company, which are located in Ireland and Jamaica. At the same time, the Russian government currently have no plans to buy aluminium from Rusal in state reserves, as the company has resumed its exports to abroad this month, due to the possibility of lifting sanctions in the case of change of ownership of the company. In addition, the government does not intend to enter the capital of Rusal and purchase any stake in the company.

Instead of nationalisation, the Russian government may consider the provision of preferences to Rusal on the wholesale energy market. That may involve the abolishment of mandatory payments on mandatory contracts for the supply of power to the company, which annually cost to Rusal about eight billion rubles (US$200 million). Rusal currently remains the largest consumer of electricity in the Russian Federation. In 2017, the company purchased 62 billion kWh (6.1% of consumption in the country and 30% in Siberian region). In the case of the introduction of fullscale sanctions against Rusal, the Russian government will consider temporary nationalisation of the company, which will help to avoid possible bankruptcy. From its side, Rusal plans to skirt sanctions in accordance with the Iranian scenario, which, however, will result inß big costs for the company and small export volumes. In addition, Rusal is putting some hope on Chinese traders, which can buy Russian aluminium in bars, then melt, and resell it in the global market. At the same time, the introduction of the US sanctions against the company has not resulted in the decline of its production volumes. That became mainly due to the fact that resumption of operation of electrolysis units at Rusal’s plants after their possible suspension will be associated with huge costs for the company. In addition, the decline in production will lead to massive cuts of staff, which is non-acceptable, as entire cities in Russia depend on the company’s businesses. Last year Rusal produced about 3.9 million tons of aluminium and, it is planned, the same figures will be achieved this year. According to an official spokesman of the Russian Aluminium Association, (a public association, which unites Russian leading aluminium producers),

the aluminium industry is one of the system-forming segments in the Russian economy, which has a significant impact on energy and transport sectors, as well as construction and engineering, which means the Russian government will do everything in order to ensure its stable work even amid the conditions of sanctions’ pressure from West. A spokesman of Association comments: “If the production of aluminium is reduced, the volumes of production in many related industries, which are major consumers of aluminium in Russia, will be reduced automatically. Currently about 200,000 tonnes of products made of aluminium (profiles, elevators, radiators, foil) are imported to Russia from abroad. In this regard, the government should take measures for the development of domestic processing industries, as well as to create a fixedprice aluminium reserve for processing enterprises.” At the same time, another problem for Rusal is related to its huge debts and the need to refinance these debts. Currently, total debts of the company are estimated at $8.5 - 9 billion, more than 90% of which is calculated in US dollars. The Russian government has no plans to refund Rusal’s debts; instead it is planning to provide subsidies for the establishment of processing facilities in the country. As part of these plans, subsidies will be provided for the establishment of facilities for processing of primary aluminium in Krasnoyarsk, Khakassia and Volgograd. That will be part of a large-scale project, known as the “Aluminium Valley”. Rusal currently employs more than 170,000 people throughout Russia and mainly in Siberia, where the majority of the company’s production and processing assets are located. The company accounts for about 6% of the world’s aluminium supply. Among the major sale markets are Europe (42% of total supplies), Asian countries (17%) Russia/CIS - 24%, and the US about 10%. �

*Russian Correspondent July/August 2018

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Improving global sustainability in bauxite mining By Marghanita Johnson* & Chris Bayliss** The recent influx of new entrants to the bauxite mining industry has, in some situations, led to the emergence of poor mining and environmental practices. Some authorities, such as in Malaysia and Indonesia, have responding by imposing moratoria or bans on bauxite mining and shipping. To address such unsustainable practices a set of Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines has been developed by an industry coalition, led by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) and comprising national aluminium associations and bauxite producing companies.

Primary aluminium consumption (‘000t)

Meeting growing demand For bauxite With only 150 years of industrial production behind it, aluminium is a comparatively young metal, yet more is produced and consumed today than any other nonferrous metal. Aluminium is one of the most widely used metals in transport, construction, packaging and electrical sectors – where it is valued for being light, strong, durable, flexible, impermeable, thermally and electrically conductive and non-corrosive. To meet market demand for these uses, and even with high recycling rates, primary aluminium demand is strong and is forecast to grow at more

than 4% per annum at least until 2030. China currently represents over 50% of global primary aluminium demand and alumina production (Fig.1), with this trend expected to continue until 2030. Around 85% of bauxite mined globally is refined into metallurgical grade alumina, which is then smelted into aluminium. Depending on the ore grade, between four and six tonnes of bauxite are required to produce two tonnes of alumina, which delivers one tonne of metal. The growth in primary aluminium will drive subsequent growth in the alumina and bauxite markets, also projected to be over 4% per annum. Increasing demand for bauxite for non-co-located alumina refineries, particularly in China, means that today, bauxite is globally-traded commodity in its own right. With domestic bauxite availability and quality declining in key provinces, Chinese demand for imported bauxite is forecast to increase steeply from around 2020, resulting in a near doubling of estimates for bauxite imports to 120 Mt per annum by 2025 (Fig. 2). Bauxite mining traditionally formed part of a vertically integrated corporate model, with companies engaged in production processes all the way from raw material extraction, to cast metal production, and even to the manufacture of fabricated

100,000 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000

300 250 200 150 100

30,000 20,000 10,000 0 2017 China

products. The last decade has seen these traditional production and supply models being replaced or sitting side-by-side with new industry approaches, in which bauxite mines are independently owned and operated, in some cases becoming detached from mainstream aluminium producers. The increase in demand has also driven the development of new bauxite producing regions (for example Malaysia, Fiji and New Caledonia) and the establishment of many new operations in both traditional (for example Guinea, Australia and India) and newly producing countries (Fig. 3). Sometimes this is done by operators with limited bauxite mining experience which has, in some situations, led to the emergence of poor mining and environmental practices. Beyond 2025 new projects will be required to meet forecast demand (Fig. 4). This need is likely to be met by emerging miners, operating in South -East Asia and West Africa. While demand has historically been met by a few significant players, operating large-scale mines, future bauxite supply will rely on both these existing suppliers and new entrants to the market. This situation has the potential to result in an increase in the number of small mines, with less extensive ore bodies

50 2019

Europe Japan


Latin South America



Middle East North America Other Asia




Other producing countries Others

Fig1. Primary aluminium consumption by region, 2017-2030 (‘000t)

0 2017


2021 Mining

2023 2025 Imports


2029 2030

Fig 2. Chinese bauxite import forecast, 2017-2030

*Grove Solutions, Australia, **Deputy Secretary General, International Aluminium Institute, UK Aluminium International Today

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Other 600

Jamaica Other Asia






IAI Demand

500 Australia


400 300





100 0 2015

Fig 3. Bauxite production by country, 2016

and shorter mine-lives, responding to shirt-term opportunities in the market. This changing nature of the industry to meet future demand means that the cumulative impact of mall operations needs to be assessed, including their required governance. Why bauxite mining is different Most of the world’s bauxite comes from surface mines in tropical and subtropical areas, where bauxite typically occurs in extensive, relatively thin nearsurface layers, normally beneath a few metres of overburden. Because bauxite deposits often cover a very large area, bauxite mining involves disturbance of comparatively large land areas compared to the mining of other minerals, though for a shorter time. However, as the life of any given part of a bauxite mine is comparably short, rehabilitation may often commence more quickly after ore is removed compared to more traditional mining operations. For this reason, it is important that rehabilitation activities are integrated into the bauxite mine plan so that it is conducted as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. A comparatively large mining footprint and the fact that bauxite is commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas mean that deposits often overlap, or are adjacent to, areas of high conservation value. As such, effective mitigation of any biodiversity impacts is critical to achieving sustainable outcomes. In addition, mining and related activities often take place on, or near, indigenous lands and/or local communities. Mining operations may require access to large tracts of land and water that are often the basis of livelihoods for these local communities. Mining related activities may also have positive benefits for local communities, providing business opportunities and creating both direct and indirect employment. To create a more sustainable mine it is important to both promote positive and mitigate negative outcomes. July/August 2018

mining iai.indd 2



2021 2023 2025

2027 2029

2031 2033

2035 2037


Fig 4. Current and predicated worldwide bauxite supply and demand, 2015-2039 (Mt)

Specific strategies to address negative environmental and social impacts include: � Identifying culturally and environmentally significant areas and altering mine plans to minimise impacts; � Controlling dust levels by watering, covering vehicles, road maintenance and imposing vehicle speed and load limits; � Constructing settling ponds and other drainage control structures; � Encouraging rehabilitation planning and implementation as early as possible and progressively throughout the life of the mine; � Promoting biodiversity management; � Implementing noise abatement measures such as the provision of buffer zones, altered timing of operations, modification of equipment, changes to mining and blasting methods; and � Establishing procedures to minimise fuel (hydrocarbon) and other spillages. Additionally, bauxite mines are often located in areas where relationships with local and regional governments are complex. A mine may be the first major commercial operator in a region and local government systems may suffer from significant capacity constraints, particularly in developing countries. This can create a situation where the mining company is viewed as responsible for poor local government performance when there is in fact a lack of government capacity. Additionally, in the absence of an effective local government presence, the company may end up becoming a proxy local government authority. The Guidelines The Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines elaborate the aluminium industry’s prime objective – to ensure bauxite mining is sustainable and achieves acceptably low social and environmental impacts during operation and post-closure. However, sustainable bauxite mining is not a ‘onesize fits all’ prescription – it involves identifying and managing specific risks

with technologies appropriate to the circumstances. This will be influenced by local climatic, geographic and environmental conditions as well as government policies, the regulatory framework and, importantly, community factors. The Guidelines - primarily intended for use by managers of bauxite mines, non-government organisations (NGOs), neighbouring communities and government regulators - identify the key topics affecting the sustainability of bauxite mining globally and provide information, principles of best practice and case studies on each. The twenty-nine case studies included have been provided by twelve contributor companies and are spread across seven countries, including emerging bauxite producers such as Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as from countries like Brazil and Australia, which have more than half a century of experience in improving sustainability performance. Two examples, among the diverse topics and case studies covered, are Transport and Traffic Management and Community Assessment. Transport and traffic management While transport of ore and traffic management within the mine lease form a routine part of the operation’s planning and safety, bauxite ultimately needs to be transported offsite to an alumina refinery. This can be via road, rail, conveyor, pipeline or ship, or a combination of modes. Smaller bauxite mines are less likely to have the capacity to construct their own associated infrastructure and are more likely to use public facilities, such as roads. The cumulative impact of the use of public infrastructure therefore needs to be considered by a regional body, who can aggregate these impacts. Mine traffic on public roads increases congestion and, with more heavy vehicle interaction, the risk of accidents increases, as does their severity. Monitoring and Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 12:32:31

3rd July EGA Adv Pillar Potline Aluminium Today 297x210 copy.pdf



11:45 PM


Fig 5. Vehicle wash at Spring Energy KotaSAS, Malaysia

Fig 6. Example of an unwashed vehicle on a public road

controlling mine vehicle traffic reduces risks and impacts on the surrounding communities. Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Have a traffic management plan, developed in consultation with key stakeholders, if transport of bauxite on public roads or through the community cannot be avoided; � Ensure all transport through the community includes safety training; and � Ensure that transport personnel adhere to speed restrictions and cover all vehicles appropriately. Case Study Minimising the impact of transport at Spring Energy KotaSAS, Malaysia Spring Energy commenced mining bauxite in KotaSAS in the Pahang State of Malaysia in late 2013. The bauxite mined there has a relatively clay content, which, combined with the area’s high rainfall, can make the bauxite stick to vehicles. The ore is transported 20km to the Port of Kuantan by public road and Spring Energy undertake a number of measures to minimise the impact of this journey: � All vehicles entering and leaving the site are washed using a dedicated, staffed wash station; and � Vehicles are not overloaded and are securely covered to minimise bauxite spillage and dust creation Figs. 5-8 show the difference between well managed and poorly managed transport options, with associated community impacts. Community assessment Bauxite mining operations support local communities and institutions, including the workforce and their families, local suppliers and customers. A mine benefits from having broad community acceptance, or what is commonly called a ‘social licence to operate’. That is, unless the community is engaged and accepting of a mining operation, opposition and confrontation may ensue. Community opposition also has the potential to July/August 2018

mining iai.indd 3

Fig 7. Well loaded and covered truck at Spring Energy KotaSAS, Malaysia

develop into disruptive actions which may directly interfere with mining activities or result in a government and/or financiers withdrawing their support for ongoing mining. Ways to maintain this social licence include developing resources, skills and capacities in the local population, working in collaboration with other organisations as appropriate to build partnerships, and creating business opportunities and employment both during operations and, importantly, after closure. Indeed, mining operations can work to provide social and economic benefits to local communities, commensurate with the size of the operation, in a variety of ways. The overall aim for sustainable mining companies is to generate profit responsibly. This can then serve to underpin benefits to all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, local communities and businesses, which depend on the mine, as well as the governments that benefit by means of taxes and royalties. Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Undertake a social impact assessment (SIA) prior to mining and ensure any significant risks identified are appropriately mitigated; and � Ensure social and economic contributions are directed towards identified community needs. Case Study Community support at Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio, Brazil In 2014, in consultation with local communities and other stakeholders, the Brazilian bauxite mining company Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) identified the need to provide additional alternative incomes for family farmers and provide incentives for youth to stay in the region of São Sebastião da Vargem Alegre. CBA implemented a partnership to grow bananas, which crop weekly, providing a regular income stream. However, there are start-up costs and training is required for farmers. As such, the partnership included provision of an agricultural technician who visits the

Fig 8. Example of a poorly loaded truck with a non-secure cover

farms to offer guidance. Training was also provided on the handling, harvesting and climate control of bananas. The programme initially aimed to increase income for each of the twenty seven families in the municipality. By 2015, with technical improvements and good use of funds, the rural producers acquired 10,400 seedlings. By the end of that year the first harvest took place – commercial production began a year later. In total, between 2014-2016 about 33,000 banana seedlings were planted. Family farmers could also acquire (with assistance from CBA) a climate control chamber for ripening fruits, with local youth trained in their safe operation, thereby providing additional vocational education and employment in addition to the regular income stream. Conclusion The principles of sustainable bauxite mining practices are common to the mining of other minerals and are focused on reducing impacts on biodiversity, land and water; on promoting community engagement and on integrated rehabilitation and closure activities. Developing and integrating practices across safety, environment, economy, efficiency and the community can also improve sustainability of mining operations. The aluminium industry’s objective is a sustainable bauxite mining industry with acceptably low social and environmental impacts during operation and postclosure. Sustainable bauxite mining is not a single “one-size fits all” prescriptive process but one that involves managing risks with best available technologies appropriate to the circumstances of the specific mine. It will be influenced by local climatic, geographic and environmental conditions as well as government policies, the regulatory framework and, importantly, community factors. The IAI and the greater aluminium industry hopes that the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines are a further step forward in the path towards sustainability. � Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 12:32:32

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Status of bauxite-alumina industry in India and future prospects By Ashok Nandi*

With the increasing requirements of aluminium in India, several brownfield expansions of alumina refineries and bauxite mines are going on in the country. India’s GDP is growing at around 7.5% and expected to grow even faster with the planned developments and urbanisation. Extrapolation of GDP to aluminium consumption in all countries shows that when GDP crosses 9%, metal consumption increases significantly. Indian consumption of aluminium metal is expected to touch about 10 Million Tonnes per Annum (MTPA) and 20 MTPA of alumina by 2030. To cater for this requirement, bauxite production has to grow by 9-10% and by 2030 the country should produce and/or procure about 60MTPA bauxite, which doesn’t look realistic with the present pace of mining and developments in the country. In this case India may take the route adopted by the Chinese to set up new alumina refinery in the coastal areas mainly based on imported bauxite or plan refinery in Bauxite rich countries. Demand The increasing demand of bauxite by alumina refineries in India requires a multipronged approach and cannot be full-filled by the slow pace of developments, limited third party mining and present policy of Government. There exists a significant gap in production of metallurgical bauxite and demand in India at present, which is partly filled by local laterites and imported bauxite. The resources of bauxite in India are placed at about 3,480 million tonnes (MT), which is about five per cent of the world total. These include 593MT reserves and 2,887MT of resources. The metallurgical grade bauxite resources are mostly concentrated in the eastern states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Presently all the bauxite-alumina developments are confined in Odisha and large bauxite

deposits of Andhra Pradesh are lying idle due to local issues and lack of political will. Thanks to incremental developments in bauxite mining in Odisha, ore is available for large alumina refineries, however, this may not be enough for planned expansion. In the long run, Indian alumina refineries may be compelled to import bauxite or develop bauxite mines abroad to feed their refineries as being practised by China now. Further, the long-term objective of supplying consistent grade ore to refinery and increasing the life of mine can only be feasible by developing the captive mines. It is sometimes better to import bauxite of consistent grade compared to procuring bauxite of diverse quality from various sources within the country. Setting up new alumina refineries at the coastal area may be viable for India compared to inland projects. China is now planning new alumina refineries in Guinea and Indonesia, where good quality bauxite can be exploited and alumina can be imported in place of raw material. This article discusses the problems and prospects of the bauxite-alumina industry in the country, present Government policies of mine development and proposed solutions for future growth. Two future scenarios of 2020 and 2030

are evaluated here based on alumina requirements and potential of Eastern Ghats bauxite mines. Present bauxite scenario in India As projected, the annual production of aluminium in the country may reach to 3.3 million tonnes by 2020 thus requiring 6.6 million tonnes of alumina and about 20 million tonnes of metallurgical grade bauxite per annum. The domestic mines of India are at present producing about 24.6 MTPA bauxite including export grade ore (about 2MTPA at present), cement and other non-metallurgical industry and leaves a short fall in metallurgical grade bauxite production. Fig.1 shows the production and consumption of all types of bauxite in India during last six years. The large bauxite production shown in Fig. 1 during 2015-16 is thanks to high silica bauxite export from India to China, which had peaked to six MTPA during 2015-16. This quality of high silica ore is not consumed in India due to high caustic cost in the country. India’s bauxite production is expected to increase from 24.6 million tonnes to 49.4 million tonnes by 2021, says one of the Mining Research reports. The growth is projected thanks to the fivefold increase in the mining lease area in Production Apparent consumption 28.1

30 25 20 15



24.8 24.5




25 20.63



10 5 0







Fig 1. Production and Consumption of Bauxite in India

*Secretary, IBAAS July/August 2018

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Fig 2. Bauxite and Alumina Refineries of India

INDIA Bauxite mine and alumina refinery map

Eastern Ghats Largest metallurgical Grade bauxite belts of India having about 2.4 billion tons of lateritic bauxite resources

Bauxite deposits/mines Alumina refinery

Scale: 0 200 400 km

Bauxite province 1. Gujarat 2. Central India 3. Western Ghats & Coast 4. Eastern Ghats 5. South Eastern Ghats

Odisha. The Ministry of Mines increased the lease area for mining of bauxite from 10 sqkm to 50 sqkm in the state of Odisha to encourage development, and as part of the Union Budget, India reduced export duties for bauxite from 20% to 15%. However, despite this positive outlook for India’s bauxite mining sector, tightening environmental regulations and tribal tensions pose downside risks by slowing down new projects. The metallurgical bauxite in India is mainly concentrated in the Eastern Ghats bauxite belt (Odisha and Andhra Pradesh) as shown in Fig. 2 and all the large existing and future alumina refinery are likely to depend on these gibbsite bauxite sources. As indicated in Fig. 2, the large production of bauxite-alumina is confined in the state of Odisha only, which offers comparatively reliable sources of bauxite. The state of Andhra Pradesh, despite having high grade metallurgical bauxite resources (about 1 Billion Tonnes) is not able to start any mining activities in their deposits except working of some laterite mines due to lack of political will and disruption by local activists. The only alumina refinery of the state (ANRAK) could not start alumina production due to non-availability of ore, despite being a bauxite rich state. Odisha is slowly developing large available bauxite deposits and Fig. 3 provides the location of main bauxite deposits/mines and alumina refinery of this state. The large bauxite mines producing more than one MTPA metallurgical grade bauxite in India are located in Odisha only. Some of the states like Gujarat, Aluminium International Today

mining IBAAS.indd 2

Resources 135Mt 400Mt 290Mt 2360Mt 28Mt

Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh also produce more than one MTPA bauxite, however, they all have scattered bauxite mines and there is not a single large deposit like Eastern Ghats bauxite belt. The present status

and future forecast of large bauxite mines development in Odisha is presented in Table 1. As shown in Table 1, 14.6 million tonnes bauxite is not enough to feed alumina refineries of this state (Odisha) and their planned expansion. There is an optimistic production forecast of about 32 million tonnes of metallurgical grade bauxite by 2020, provided present pace of development is maintained in this state. However, Odisha state cannot feed the requirements of 2030 and it will be necessary to start bauxite mining in Andhra deposits to produce 20 MTPA alumina. It may be pointed out here that China currently produces over 60MTPA of alumina despite not having enough bauxite deposits. Alumina production and bauxite linkages The present installed alumina production capacity of India is about 8.3 MTPA as shown in Table 3. However, some of these refineries are going for large brownfield expansions, namely Utkal Alumina, NALCO Damanjodi and Vedanta Lanjigarh plants. As indicated in Table 2, with the exception of some of the old alumina refineries in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka, all the large alumina plants

Odisha bauxite deposits/mines and alumina refinery Odisha

Vedanta Lanjigarh (88)

Kissanmali (28) Karlapat (153) Sijimali (244) Kutrumali (40) Baphlimali (195) Sasbahumali (81) Uktal (Hindalco) Kodingamali (81)

Panchpatmali (314)

Panchpatmali bauxite deposit, India

Damanjodi (Nalco) Maliparbat (9)

LEGEND Bauxite deposit

Ballada (11)

Pottangi (76)


Alumina refinery Eastern Ghats bauxite belt (314) Resources in million tonnes

Scale 0 75 150km

Fig 3. Large Bauxite Deposits of Odisha and also Alumina Refineries

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S. No.

Name of mine




Present production

Likely expansion

Likely production















360 (original)

Captive Mine

200 (Left Over) 75

Captive Mine







Likely production

Block Started





Likely to start





Looks Realistic Started Mining



Captive Mine





































Total Odisha





Table 1. Major Odisha Bauxite Mines and their Likely Expansion

(more than 1MTPA capacity) are located in Odisha and new plant of Andhra Pradesh is idling due to non-availability of bauxite. The list of the alumina refineries of Eastern Ghats with their installed and projected capacities in 2020 and 2030 are presented in Table 3. This shows that it may be feasible to produce 24 MTPA alumina by 2030, however, there may not be enough bauxite production within the country to feed these refineries. Thus, India may keep importing bauxite to sustain the required growth of alumina and metal. The status of individual alumina refinery is described below: NALCO Damanjodi alumina plant This is the oldest alumina refinery in Odisha and the next phase of expansion of 1 MTPA is in the pipeline based on low temperature digestion technology of Rio Tinto Alcan. For this expansion, the Government has also allotted Pottangi bauxite deposit to NALCO, having about 75 million tonnes of resources. According to our estimate, about 200 million tonnes of bauxite is still leftover in the Panchpamali mine, however, the quality of ore may slowly deteriorate. All the earlier expansion of NALCO Damanjodi alumina refinery was a replica of obsolete atmospheric digestion technology of Aluminium Pechiney, which resulted in the perpetual loss of alumina in the process/ S. No.

Alunina refinery


red mud. The present consumption of bauxite per tonne of alumina in Damanjodi refinery is in the range of 3.3 tonnes, which is quite high compared to any low temperature alumina refinery in the world for this quality of ore. As availability of high grade bauxite is depleting in the mine and silica content will increase in bauxite supply from Pachpatmali. NALCO has to think innovatively to beneficiate and process the comparatively lower grade bauxite effectively. Further, the present red mud disposal system of NALCO may be the impediment for the growth of Damanjodi alumina refinery and company has to seriously think about modern techniques of disposal. HINDALCO Utkal alumina refinery This is a new alumina refinery of Odisha, which has now stabilised the production and carried out de-bottlenecking also to surpass the installed capacity. With medium grade captive source (Baphlimali Bauxite Mine), this plant is continuously increasing the production and productivity and lowering the grade to increase the life of mine. The refinery is running at its full design capacity at present and has cemented its position as one of the lowest cost refineries of the world. Hindalco has applied for clearances to scale up the refinery capacity to 2.25 MTPA. Further Utkal Alumina International Ltd has Technology

petitioned the Indian government for permission to double the alumina output of its Odisha refinery to three MTPA. These incremental increases are feasible and large sized alumina refineries in India, like Australia and Brazil may further bring down the operating cost. 3.3 VEDANTA Lanjigarh Alumina Refinery With the start of Kodingamali bauxite mine by Odisha government through the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation, this refinery will have long-term linkage and stabilised its production to 1.6 MTPA this year. The refinery is presently using various qualities of mined, purchased and imported bauxite including laterites of Andhra Pradesh. However, the ambitious plan of VEDANTA to increase alumina production to five and six MTPA may be a distant dream in the present scenario. It all depends on the Government policies and process of auctioning and/ or opening up of new bauxite mines in Odisha like Kodingamali. The country needs large alumina refineries to cut down the high cost of alumina import and domestically produce metal as successfully demonstrated by HINDALCO and VEDANTA. New alumina refineries of Eastern Ghats Another viable alumina project of Odisha

Bauxite quality


KTPA Al2O3% SiO2% 1



Double Digestion






Double Digestion



Old Refinery, high cost production Stable no expansion




Low Temp



Special Alumina Refinery To be expanded to 3 MTPA in first phase


Hindalco- Utkal Alumina


Low Temp






Atmospheric Temp



One Line of 1MTPA LTD Pottangi Bauxite




Low Temp



Imported-domestic Bxt; Expansion plan 5 MTPA




Low Temp

Total installed capacity

Yet to start


Table 2. Present installed capacity of alumina refineries in India

July/August 2018

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Projected 2030


Hindalco - Utkal Alumina




Likely to expand in Phases





Some old lines may be obsolete by 2030





Odisha mines should supply





Plant is ready






New coastal Refinery




Require Planning





Table 3. Alumina refineries of Eastern India and projected production

Fig 4. NALCO Damanjodi Alumina Refinery

(L&T), based on Sijimali and Kutrumali bauxite deposits having large reserve base, is still on the drawing boards and work has not yet started at site. However, once operational this may also significantly increase the alumina production in the country. The Andhra bauxite deposits, lying dormant for a long time, have to start production to feed existing alumina refinery and also set up new facility in the coastal belt. Without these developments India will not be able to achieve its desired alumina production and perpetually depends on import of bauxite and alumina. Australia is the best example, where natural resources are scientifically exploited and provide benefits to local community and sustaining the environment. Future bauxite alumina scenario At present new alumina refineries are coming up only in Asia and despite low bauxite resources, China keeps setting up new plants based on imported bauxite. However, some old alumina and aluminium plants are closing down here due to environmental issues. China has also started a new alumina refinery in Indonesia and taken over an old plant in Jamaica. China has big plans to set up alumina refineries in bauxite rich countries like Guinea and Indonesia. As alumina plants generate about two tonnes of red mud for each tonne of alumina production and with further shortages of land and environmental pressure, it July/August 2018

mining IBAAS.indd 4

Fig 5. HINDALCO Utkal Alumina Refinery

may result in partly shifting this industry to less developed countries in Africa and Asia. India should also take advantage of learning from China. Some of the thoughts for future developments in India are as follows: � India is presently producing about 24.6 million tonnes of bauxite for metallurgical and non- metallurgical industries. With the present pace of development, it looks too optimistic that country will be able to produce about 60 million tonnes of metallurgical grade bauxite by 2030. � The present installed alumina capacity in India is about 8.3 MTPA, which may expand to 23.8 MTPA by 2030; however, there may not be enough domestic bauxite to feed these refineries. � The only viable inland alumina refinery may be L&T project of Odisha based on Sijimali and Kutrumali bauxite deposits with large reserve base. � Indian alumina refineries should serious work on technological innovation to increase the production and productivity in refinery and also work on the safe disposal/utilisation of red mud. � Andhra bauxite deposits have to be developed and for this Australian model can be followed, where community is equally benefitted by developments. � In order to increase the alumina production, similar to China, new alumina plants in the coastal area may be viable option for India also, which will mainly

depend on imported bauxite and partly take available domestic ore. � Large Aluminium producers of India have to give serious thoughts of setting up new alumina production facilities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Guinea and Cameroon, where large bauxite deposits and lands are still easily available. Aluminium Conference & Exhibition of India International Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium Society (IBAAS) is organising the Aluminium Conference & Exhibition in Mumbai, India during September 5 7, 2018. The theme of the IBAAS-2018 conference is “Indian Aluminium Industry – Status, Strategies & Way Forward for Accelerated Growth”. This year’s threeday conference will be held in Hotel Leela in Sahar, Mumbai. All the primary Aluminium Producers of India namely HINDALCO, NALCO, VEDANTA and several International companies have confirmed their participation in this mega Aluminium event in Mumbai, India. This conference is being organised in association with Indian Institute of Metals and Aluminium Association of India. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity to meet leaders of the Indian Aluminium Industry and scores of special alumina and aluminium downstream companies. � For further details please visit: or contact

Aluminium International Today

17/07/2018 09:34:24

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Australian bauxite mining: Sustainable guidelines explained By Miles Prosser* & Marghanita Johnson** With its resource wealth, aluminium is an industry where Australia naturally excels from the mining of bauxite ore, refining that ore into alumina, and then smelting the alumina to produce primary aluminium metal. The Australian bauxite mining industry has learnt many lessons and developed world-leading techniques in environmental, community and sustainability practices in the more than half a century that it has operated in this country. The discovery of high-grade and easily recoverable bauxite in the Weipa region of Far North Queensland, Australia, in 1955, almost doubled the then known total global reserves of metal-grade bauxite. Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations commenced production in 1963. In Western Australia, Alcoa of Australia was formed in June 1961 and was granted a 12,619 square kilometre bauxite mining lease by the Western Australian Government. In July 1963, the Jarrahdale bauxite mine opened. Alcoa subsequently established bauxite mines at Huntly in 1976 and Willowdale in 1984. During this time, the Gove bauxite mine, which supplies the export market in the Northern Territory commenced production in 1970. The last of the major new Australian bauxite mines of the twentieth century was the Boddington Bauxite Mine which supplies the Worsley alumina refinery, and commenced production in 1984. More recently, two new mines have opened in Australia, the Bald Hill mine in Tasmania which commenced production in 2014 and the Queensland Bauxite Hills mine in April 2018. Additionally, the Amrun project will extend mining activities on part of Rio Tinto’s existing lease south of the Embley River, between Weipa and Aurukun, and is expected commence production in 2019. While the Jarrahdale mine is no longer in operation, Australia currently has seven operating bauxite mines, one major

new mine project and many emerging prospects. The challenge is to share the techniques of sustainable mining practices and transfer this knowledge to mines operating globally, to improve global sustainability. With almost a quarter of the world’s known bauxite (Fig. 1), the established lead in production, and a track record for reliable quality supply; Australia is well placed to play a critical role in sustainable global bauxite supply chains.

Other 17% Guy

Guinea 27%


3% China 3%

Indonesia 4% Jamaica 7%

Australia 22%

Vietnam 8% Brazil 9%

Fig 1. Global bauxite reserves

Primary aluminium demand is strong and is forecast to grow at more than 4% per annum through until 2030 (Fig. 2). The growth in primary aluminium will drive subsequent growth in the alumina and bauxite markets. Bauxite demand has historically been met by a a handful of significant players in the market, mostly operating large scale mines. To meet current and future demand, there has been and will continue to be an increase in the number of mines, some with less extensive ore bodies and shorter predicted mine lives which respond to opportunities in the market. This increase in demand has driven the development of new bauxite producing regions, such as Malaysia, Fiji and New

Caledonia as well as the establishment of many new operations traditional bauxite producing countries such as Guinea, Australia and India (Fig. 3). This influx of new entrants has, in some situations, led to the emergence of poor mining and environmental practices, with some authorities imposing moratoria or bans on bauxite mining and shipping in response. To maintain the industry reputation, growth must happen with considerations for the sustainability of the operations and the environment and communities in which they operate. In response to concerns about industry reputation, the Australian Aluminium Council, partnered with the International Aluminium Institute and global industry players to prepare the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines. The intention was to develop guidelines which could be applied to all operations and would be particularly useful to new operations and to regulators in countries without an established history of bauxite mining. The Guidelines elaborate the aluminium industry’s objective to ensure bauxite mining is sustainable and achieves acceptably low social and environmental impacts during operation and postclosure. However, sustainable bauxite mining is not a single ‘one-size fits all’ prescriptive process but one that involves managing risks with best available technologies appropriate to the circumstances of the specific mine. This will be influenced by local climatic, geographic and environmental conditions as well as government policies, the regulatory framework and, importantly, community factors. By defining the scope of issues, drawing on the skills of the Australian industry, and identifying case studies from around the world, this project will make it easier for mining operations to be operated, and regulated, in a way which is sustainable

*Executive Director, Australian Aluminium Council, **Grove Solutions, Australia July/August 2018

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Aluminium International Today

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Primary aluminium consumption (‘000t)


Malaysia Europe Jamaica

90,000 80,000

Other Asia

70,000 60,000 50,000



40,000 30,000


20,000 10,000 0 2017 China


Brazil 2018



Latin/South America

2021 2022 Middle East

2023 2024 2025 North America

2026 2027

Other Asia

and attracts the support of local communities. The Guidelines aim to identify the key topics affecting sustainable bauxite mining and provide information and case studies to enable a more sustainable basis for all mines. While the Guidelines include case studies from twelve contributing companies or associations across seven countries, given Australia’s more than half a century of bauxite mining history, the Guidelines showcase some of the best examples of practices from Australia. In each section of the Guidelines there is the context of why this is a potential issue relating to bauxite mining, important parameters to consider when planning or operating a mine and specific “dos and don’ts” a sustainable bauxite mine should or should not have. This of course relates to the particular risk of that aspect in that social, geographical and physical location. In the examples which follow, the guidelines for each section are shown, together with the examples of practices from some of Australia’s longest running bauxite mines. The examples focus in particular the community engagement, including with traditional owners, at Rio Tinto Weipa’s Cape York operations and inclusion of integrated rehabilitation planning in Alcoa’s Western Australian operations from topsoil removal through to mine relinquishment, whilst operating in a major drinking water catchment area. Community Engagement Guidelines: Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Identify key stakeholders and have a formalised plan and schedule for interacting with them; � Consult with the community about the operation and ultimate closure of the mine; � Communicate on progress against any agreed actions. Case study Australia’s remote western Cape York Peninsula is home to Rio Tinto’s Weipa Aluminium International Today


2028 2029 2030

Other producing countries


Fig 2. Primary aluminium consumption by region, 2017-2030 (‘000t)

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bauxite mine. Local communities surrounding the operation on the Western Cape include the township of Weipa and the three nearby Indigenous communities of Aurukun, Mapoon and Napranum. The mine’s communities team administers a community feedback system, a formalised process whereby members of the local community may provide both positive and negative feedback on any aspect of the company’s operations. This includes multiple contact points and communication methods (Fig. 4). A Weipa community forum also provides opportunities to engage directly with members of local communities on matters of interest and to discuss business activities that are likely to affect the community. The forum also enables the company to report back to the community on how complaints are received and addressed (Fig. 5). Indigenous Peoples Consultation Guidelines: Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Understand the role, customs and decision-making practices of Indigenous Peoples impacted by the mine; and � Consult with Indigenous Peoples prior to commencement of mining or mine construction. Case study Three Aboriginal agreements underpin all Rio Tinto’s activities at its Weipa operations the Western Cape Communities Coexistence Agreement (WCCCA), the Ely Bauxite Mining Project Agreement, and the Weipa Township Agreement. These agreements outline how the business and Traditional Owners work together towards mutual value. They provide the land access that’s critical for Rio Tinto’s operations, and ensure the social and economic benefits are shared within the Western Cape region. A fundamental aspect of these agreements is ensuring stakeholders are involved in deciding how benefits should be used within their communities. Rio Tinto’s Weipa Indigenous

Fig 3. Bauxite production by country, 2016

employment and training strategy was developed in collaboration with Traditional Owners, and defines its longterm commitment to increasing the participation, retention and advancement of local Aboriginal people in their operations. It includes a number of initiatives designed to improve Indigenous employment participation rates, while also ensuring the business has the skills needed to support its operations. As a result, Rio Tinto Weipa’s strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce reflects the recognition that its mines operate on traditional lands. It is estimated that more than 60% of Australia’s mining operations neighbour Indigenous communities; however, Indigenous employees make up on average only 6% of the country’s mining workforce, compared to 25% of Weipa’s employees who are Indigenous, of which 12% are local Aboriginal people. Cultural Heritage Assessment Guidelines Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Understand and plan to preserve key aspects of cultural heritage relevant to the mining area; and � Survey prior to mining and protect any additional cultural heritage sites identified during mining. Case study In the Weipa region, the cultural heritage concerns of the Traditional Owners extend beyond archaeological sites to a strong and active spiritual connection to land and to an overall cultural landscape. Cultural heritage management in Weipa is therefore closely connected with the land, entailing significant rights and responsibilities of Traditional Owners over natural resource management. As such, the effective management of cultural heritage at Weipa requires the consideration of the entire cultural landscape as opposed to managing cultural heritage as disconnected objects. July/August 2018

17/07/2018 09:47:22



Fig 4. Rio Tinto staff meeting Traditional Owners at Rio Tinto Weipa, Australia. Fig 5. Quarterly community forum at Rio Tinto Weipa, Australia. Fig 6. Cultural heritage survey at Rio Tinto Weipa, Australia. Fig 7. Fresh topsoil spreading at Alcoa operations, Western Australia


7 The challenge for Rio Tinto is to meets its obligations in a complex social and natural landscape with strong intangible cultural heritage values. Inclusive engagement is needed to understand heritage at any operation, especially to identify appropriate management options for culturally significant places. The result of Rio Tinto’s inclusive engagement has been the development of an integrated management plan, the production of positive environmental outcomes in terms of land and water management, and the strengthening of relationships between the Weipa operation and the Traditional Owners. Soil Management Guidelines Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Have a soil management plan describing how soils are to be classified, salvaged, stockpiled and respread. Case Study Because bauxite deposits often cover a very large area, bauxite mining involves disturbance of comparatively large land areas compared to the mining of other minerals. However, as the life of any given section of a mine is comparably short, rehabilitation can often commence quickly after all ore is removed. For this reason, it is even more important that rehabilitation activities are integrated into the planning for the bauxite mining process so that it is conducted as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. Rehabilitation is a technique where Australia has demonstrated excellence, including at Alcoa’s operations in Western Australia. The bauxite mine rehabilitation programme conducted by Alcoa in the jarrah forest in the southern regions of July/August 2018

mining AAC.indd 3

Western Australia is an excellent example of how conservation of the soil seed bank may significantly enhance the botanical diversity of the post-mining vegetation community. Wherever possible, after vegetation is cleared, the top 150 millimetres of soil, which contains most of the soil seed bank and nutrients, is stripped prior to mining and then directly returned to a pit about to be rehabilitated (Fig. 7). Alcoa has found that approximately 60% of the species in restored sites originate from seeds in the fresh topsoil that is stripped from ‘donor’ sites that have been cleared in advance of mining and immediately ‘returned’ to areas that are being restored. Indeed, using fresh topsoil from donor sites is important because fresh topsoil results in at least 33% more species in restored sites than topsoil that has been stockpiled before use. Rehabilitation Guidelines Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Have a progressive rehabilitation plan, integrated with mining operations, which includes completion criteria; and � Ensure completion criteria are agreed with regulators and, where appropriate, other stakeholders. Case Study The first of Alcoa’s bauxite mines in Western Australia was at Jarrahdale, where mining operations commenced in 1963 and continued until rehabilitation was completed in May 2001. The mine produced ~168 million tons of bauxite from 1963 to late 1998 when the mine ceased production. Many of the key lessons in developing Alcoa’s current rehabilitation methods were developed at Jarrahdale. Although the closure


of Jarrahdale is seen as an end point, improvements in rehabilitation are ongoing at the two operating mines at Huntly and Willowdale. Alcoa has a three-tiered hierarchy of objectives which cascade from broad completion criteria, through ‘working arrangements’ to specific internal targets. Completion criteria are the most generic level of formal performance indicators expected to be achieved by Alcoa before a mine can be decommissioned to state government standards. Effectively, these represent milestones in the biophysical processes of rehabilitation that provide confidence that a rehabilitated mine site will eventually reach the desired objective. Closure Planning Guidelines Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Have a closure plan, developed with local stakeholders and agreed with regulators; and � Establish appropriate financial provisioning for closure and ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities. Case Study Substantial areas of Alcoa’s former mine at Jarrahdale have met the required completion criteria. This should allow these areas to be managed in an integrated manner with the surrounding unmined Jarrah forest. Therefore, although the rehabilitated areas are not identical to the pre-mined condition, all the sites at Jarrahdale have reached approximate compositional goals to unmined sites and have demonstrated processes of selfperpetuation. In 2005, a total of 975 ha of rehabilitation at Alcoa’s now decommissioned Jarrahdale mine site was handed back to the state government and a certificate of acceptance issued to Alcoa. This represented the first largescale relinquishment of rehabilitated land by a mining company in Australia. Water Management Guidelines Sustainable bauxite mines should: � Understand the social, cultural and environmental value of water in the mine catchment; Aluminium International Today

17/07/2018 09:47:24



Fig 8. Drainage management at Alcoa operations, Western Australia

� Develop targets on water use and water quality; and report on these; and � Avoid, or at least minimise, turbid water leaving the site through effective sediment control.

Case Study Additionally, Alcoa’s bauxite mining operations in Western Australia are located within drinking water catchments. Water in these forested catchments is naturally clear and non-turbid, so Alcoa has adopted a proactive approach to educating all operators about their role in maintaining water quality and meeting regulatory limits. All mine operators are provided training, in appropriate language

and with visuals to aid understanding, on the causes and impacts of increased suspended solids such as mud and silt (termed turbidity). When areas are cleared for mining, trees and plants which stabilise the soil are removed, leaving the land without protection so soil is easily washed away. Runoff from open areas, including roads, can result in high turbidity in streams. However, with appropriate education, mine operators can help ensure there is sufficient drainage protection in place during and after undertaking their work (Fig. 8). Through the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines, the Australian bauxite mining

industry hopes to share its more than half a century of experience in world-leading techniques in environmental, community and sustainability practices. Australian expertise is used in the Guidelines in both the key topics affecting sustainable bauxite mining and case studies to enable a more sustainable basis for all mines. The benefits to Australia will be twofold the high quality of our own mining operations will be openly acknowledged; and the global reputation of an important industry for our economy will be enhanced. � All data and figures can be referenced to the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines

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Event preview: Alumina 2018 Alumina 2018, the 11th AQW International Conference, will be held 9-14 September 2018 in Gladstone Queensland. Gladstone is the Eastern hub of the Australian alumina industry and home to two major refineries, QAL and Rio Tinto Yarwun, with a combined annual production of 7 million tonnes of alumina. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit both refineries, and to explore the surrounding region, which features the world’s largest living structure – the spectacular, world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Founded as the ‘Alumina Quality Workshop’ in Gladstone 1988, AQW is proud to be returning to its birthplace for this 30th Anniversary Conference to showcase it today as the premier international forum of the alumina industry. The Conference theme Efficiency for the Future reflects the current industry focus on cost reduction, optimisation of raw materials & energy use and the adoption of new and emerging technology in a sustainable and thriving global alumina industry. Delegates to Alumina 2018 will have a unique opportunity to engage with the future direction of the industry by participating in ATR 4.0 - The Alumina Technology Roadmap for the 4th Industrial Revolution. This will be the product of the first comprehensive regeneration of the Alumina Technology Roadmap since its inception in 2001. The ATR 4.0 Workshop on the final day of the Conference will be a key stage in the development of the Roadmap. Delegates are encouraged to register their interest in participating in this seminal event. The Conference program has been built around an underlying theme of future challenges and technology solutions. Plenary sessions on the future vision through ATR 4.0, and the challenges posed by refractory bauxites, will set the scene. Bauxite residue continues to be a key theme in all its aspects, with July/August 2018

mining Alumina.indd 1

sessions on its production and handling, treatment, storage, environmental management and beneficial re-use held throughout the Conference. Substantial progress in the technology for biological remediation will be reported as a result of collaborative industry-funded research, along with interesting innovations in processing and handling, and options for the extraction of valuable products. Bayer process technology features prominently, with theme sessions on Energy Efficiency, Process Chemistry, Process Modelling, Scale Mitigation, Analytical Technology, Process Modelling & Simulation, and Process Thermodynamics. There will be separate sessions on unit operations: Digestion, Classification, Filtration, Precipitation and Calcination – something for every process engineer, chemist and researcher. AQW’s quality roots are not forgotten, with papers on product quality and process management included in the Analytical Technology and Management sessions, and there will be a session on Industry 4.0 topics. The Conference sessions will run over three days at the Gladstone Events Centre, with industry tours on the fourth day and the ATR 4.0 Workshop on the fifth day. All Conference sessions feature a 15-minute ‘Meet the Speakers’ forum at the end, an informal opportunity to network with

speakers on the topic of the moment. Outside the Conference itself there will be an excellent social program to enable delegates to network while enjoying the unique environment of Central Queensland. This will begin with the Welcome Reception on the Sunday evening (September 9) before the Conference, for delegates to catch with past acquaintances and make new contacts in a relaxed atmosphere. On Monday there will be a Cocktail Party on Quoin Island, just 15 minutes by boat off Gladstone and one of its best-kept secrets, with private beaches, spectacular landscape and a glorious view of the city, not to mention a turtle rehabilitation facility and resident kangaroos. And the food and entertainment will be good too! The Conference Dinner on Wednesday night will be a gala event at the Ballroom of the Events Centre, sponsored by Emerson Automation Solutions. The technical tours will be on the Thursday, morning and afternoon, and delegates will have the opportunity to visit one or both refineries. Each tour will include a drive around the key components of the refinery process and an overview of the whole Bayer process. Key specialists will provide commentary and answer any questions. QAL is the fourth largest alumina refinery in the world and produces more than 3.8 million tonnes of smelter grade alumina per year, which is supplied both locally and internationally. It has been the heart of Gladstone’s prosperity over 50 years. In 2004, Rio Tinto Yarwun alumina refinery was the first greenfield refinery to be built in the western world in 20 years. It uses leading-edge technology to produce 3.2 million tonnes of alumina per year, and features a 160MW cogeneration facility, to reduce costs and greenhouse gas intensity, harness waste heat to create steam, and feed surplus, low emission energy to the Queensland electricity grid. � Full details of the Conference can be found at

Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 11:14:49


Grain refining technology of the future finally comes to China Optifine Following almost a decade of servicing cast houses in the west, the Optifine product range finally reaches China. This highly efficient, revolutionary Grain Refiner becomes available in China mid 2018. The product will be exclusively distributed via MQP China, a wholly owned subsidiary of MQP UK through its administration and warehousing facilities located near Shanghai. The MQP China platform will provide the Chinese market with immediate access to stock, together with all of the necessary technical support to provide our clients with a turn key service from evaluation, trials and on-going supply. Over four million tonnes of aluminium is already Grain Refined throughout the world with Optifine and the associated quality and cost benefits are now being made available to China. Optifine is an exceptionally powerful TiBAl grain refiner supplied by MQP to the aluminium casthouse industry in 186kg coils as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1. Optifine coils

To take the Optifine Challenge and discover the savings your cast house could make, please scan the QR code below (we chat) and connect with us. Read below all about Optifine grain refinement and the benefits it could be bringing to your casthouse.

Fig 2. Successfully refined structure of an AA 6060 alloy treated with Optifine grain refiner at the remarkably low addition rate of 0.16kg/t

In conjunction with Opticast technology Optifine is achieving outstanding results in the everyday production of a range of demanding high quality alloys in casthouses worldwide. At these casthouses optimum and powerful grain refinement with Optifine is regarded as a Aluminium International Today

MQP.indd 1

huge asset in advancing their melt quality. Optifine is a proven, very potent grain refiner and can achieve the level of refinement needed to avoid ingot cracking at up to 80% lower addition rates than standard, commercial, TiBAl grain refiners. This results in improved quality July/August 2018

17/07/2018 09:52:05


Opticast The Opticast System is a unique technology and methodology for the in-line control and optimisation of grain refinement. Fig 4 shows the MQP mobile equipment used for grain refiner optimisation at customer sites. Opticast has been successfully introduced by MQP into regular production at aluminium casthouses worldwide where it is undoubtedly enhancing the performance of Optifine by optimising addition rates to the aluminium melt.

0.90 0.80 0.70 Addition rate (kg/ton)

and reduced operating costs over a wide range of aluminium alloy compositions. It also means that the risk of unwanted TiB2 and oxide inclusions in the finished products is very much minimised. A well refined section from an AA6060 alloy is shown in Fig 2. This was achieved by an extremely small addition of Optifine of 0.16kg/t which is very much less than usually needed with other commercial TiBAl grain refiners. A similar trend is shown in Fig 3, which plots Optifine needed (dark blue) against standard Ti BAl (light blue) needed for successful refinement in a range of AA alloys. In each alloy satisfactory grain refinement is produced with a much lower Optifine addition.

0.60 0.50 0.40

Serie 1


Serie 2

0.20 0.10 0.00



































Fig 3 . Optifine needed (Serie 2) versus standard TiBal needed (Serie 1) in a range of AA alloys.

Fig 4. Opticast laboratory equipment

Usage of Optifine in Casthouses Optifine together with Opticast is now in everyday usage in the production of over four million tonnes of aluminium alloys in major aluminium plants worldwide and is progressively being introduced into more casthouses by the international MQP team. ďż˝ Alu Int Today 2018_06_AIT 20.06.2018 11:56 Seite 1

Aluminium Rolling Mill & Foil Slitting Machinery 09th-11th October Messe DĂźsseldorf, Hall 13 / Booth M15

Welcome at our booth n n n

July/August 2018

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Digital solutions in linking a whole production plant 6-high rolling mill technology Recent developments of central technology components

Aluminium International Today

17/07/2018 09:52:06


Casthouse solutions Established in 1973, Mechatherm is a world leading company for supplying state-of-the-art technology for various casthouse solutions. Mechatherm specialise in the design, supply and commissioning of charging machines, melting and recycling furnaces, holding furnaces and ancillary equipment for the perfect casthouse operation. Operating in numerous countries across all continents and with a large portfolio of clients, Mechatherm is known for its advanced casthouse technology and competency in executing international turnkey projects. Having built a strong reputation on several successful projects around the world, most notably in the Middle East starting in the 1990’s, Mechatherm has gone on to win many more prestigious casthouse orders with some of the world’s largest and global aluminium producing companies. Moving into the millennium Mechatherm had supplied many casthouse furnaces in to Russia, Far East, India and Europe. Recent new markets include North America whilst maintaining our strong foothold in many of our existing successful territories. With Mechatherm being used to working to very strict levels of design safety standards and environmental regulations typically enforced in the EU, we have naturally developed our internal systems and products to meet those demands in order to stay ahead of the field. This reason alone has enabled us to pick up contracts outside of the EU and in countries that are now catching up to equivalent standards as it gives customers a sense of comfort in future proofing

July/August 2018

casthouse mechtherm mag.indd 1

their large capital investments knowing that Mechatherm can and has already executed such projects. Mechatherm offer a bespoke and customised solution, we fully appreciate all casthouse’s are unique and different in their layout and operating practices. We partner with our clients to understand their specifications and develop solutions that satisfy them. We will consider operating practices and preferences, equipment levels, material flow logisitics, equipment layout and environmental permits. Our very experienced sales and engineering teams will develop the conceptual ideas into state of the art reality solutions. Charging machines Mechatherm has long been supplying various types of handling equipment to complement its product range. As our core business has leant towards melting and holding furnaces, Mechatherm has come up with many bespoke scrap charging systems to enable fast and smooth loading of various scrap types to keep up with designed operating and casting cycles. Our bespoke designs have seen many features integrated, such as rotating turrets to make operator loading of scrap

more efficient, fully automated and semiautomated charging programs, integrated safety interlocks, high capacity charge boxes (25 tonnes) and extended box reach into the furnace to ensure maximum bath scrap coverage. Conventional melting furnaces One of Mechatherm main products is conventional reverb type melting furnaces. We have supplied many of these in our long history and have seen many innovations introduced over the years both mechanically, electrically and control & automation. We have specialised in static, tilting and top load type furnaces with references across the globe. It is our customers’ needs for bigger and faster furnaces to meet their production needs that has seen us install capacities of up to 190T with melt rates exceeding 25T/hr. in some cases. With each of our customer requirements, Mechatherm offers a bespoke furnace solution that we feel best meets their needs. A close inspection of scrap types and production input/output is analysed before we carefully select the suited equipment type and set about creating an optimum layout from a process point of view.

Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 14:21:15

As always there is a big emphasis on furnace efficiency to minimise running costs. Our customers are always looking at ways to maximise payback on their purchased equipment, so Mechatherm strives to ensure that we are offering the best integrated technologies available. Some of the biggest advancements in the last decade or so have been high input, ultra-efficient and low NOx/ CO combustion systems. Many of the modern-day melting furnaces have regenerative combustion systems which utilises pre-heated combustion air which is fed through ceramic media stored in regenerator beds after a cycled exhausting process. This technology has seen the demise of recuperative systems in modern day casthouses. Scrap recycling furnaces It is widely reported that typically 75% of the worlds produced aluminium is still in existence, whether still in use or as in scrap form. Therefore, it was inevitable that as scrap processing and melting furnaces technologies evolved, new plants geared up to recycle this abundance and bring it back to the market. As aluminium is used in so many industry sectors, the available scraps come in many different forms. From areas such architectural, aerospace, automotive, food/beverage packaging, medical/pharmaceutical and many others, aluminium scrap is widely available in many differing alloys and gauges. One of the biggest challenges to a modernday scrap recycler is how best to recover this aluminium in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Challenges such as alloy separation/grouping, de-coating of paints/lacquers, bale breaking/shredding of purchased scraps play a very big part and customers need to employ the best suited technologies in order to do this. Mechatherm has long been working in the aluminium recycling sector and been involved in many processing facilities using different approaches to recover this aluminium from scrap. It is generally accepted that the optimum way to recover aluminium from contaminated scraps is to shred it and put it through a dedicated de-coating (pyrolysis) process before being fed into a conventional melting furnace with a hot metal scrap submergence system (vortex). High throughputs and metal recoveries (>95%) can be achieved by utilising this method, but a large-scale capital investment is needed to purchase the shredding/classifying equipment, scrap feed conveyors, de-coating equipment as well as the melting furnace with a submergence/pump system. Therefore, this level of investment does not suit all our customers plans. Aluminium International Today

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To provide an alternative solution to this, Mechatherm offers a bespoke multi-chamber furnace design whereby contaminated scraps in loose or baled form can be charged in to a dedicated pyrolysis chamber for pre-heat and decoating before being pushed into the furnaces molten bath for indirect meting via hot metal circulation. This pyrolysis chamber is controlled at a setpoint temperature to de-coat the scrap only, with an opposite “melting” chamber separated by a diving wall is providing the energy to melt the aluminium. The chambers are only connected below the metal level in the bath through ports which allow the circulation of the molten metal. This is an efficient way of melting and getting good metal recoveries from various scraps (>85%). Depending on which recycling process is selected, contaminated scraps almost always have some form of volatile organic compound (VOC) in the forms of paint/ lacquers/grease/etc. Typically, purchased market scraps can have as much as 15% non-metallic content by weight but is generally averaged to around 5% where feasible. Naturally this non-metallic portion is lost through the recycling process but it is important as to what can be used from the VOC’s as an available heat source. If utilised carefully during the pyrolysis process, these VOC’s can be sent by controlled exhaust to the melting furnace main “melting” chamber for incineration. This destroys the fumes and combusts the VOC’s thus allowing the furnaces main burners to turn down as primary heat input to melt the aluminium is not needed as much. It is this method, that if done properly that makes for an ultra-efficient furnace/recycling process and it is an area Mechatherm focusses greatly upon. Mechatherm markets both recycling solutions for using either off-line decoating units feeding a conventional melting furnace, as well as an allencompassing multi-chamber de-coating/ melting furnace solution. There are CAPEX/ OPEX advantages and disadvantages to

both systems and we strive to help our customers determine what is best for them for their given production needs. Tilting holding/casting furnaces The holding / casting furnace has generally been seen as the simplest and most basic furnace in the casthouse as typically is has been designed to hold and cast metal and not subject to the enhancements that we have seen in the melting furnace technology. Mechatherm have spent many years supplying furnaces into the Primary sector where the majority of furnaces are classed as holding / casting furnaces. To differentiate ourselves from the competition we introduced many technology developments to give our customer a more efficient, greater reliability and operator friendly furnace. We have seen furnaces grow tremendously in size and capacity as the casting capacity of downstream equipment has developed. We have recently supplied 2 x 155T capacity tilting holding furnaces to Logan Aluminium in Kentucky, USA and are currently installing 3 x 165T capacity tilting holding furnaces at Aluminium Bahrain for the new Pot line smelter expansion. We believe these to be amongst the largest casthouse tilting furnaces ever to be built. We are positive that we will soon see the requirement for a 200T capacity and we currently have conceptual designs completed by our product innovation team ready to go when the moment arrives. We identify some of the key design features of the Mechatherm tilting holding furnace: � Accurate metal temperature control +/-2oC � Integration of radar metal level sensing system � Automated bath thermocouple insertion and retraction system � Casing and structure designed for thermal expansion and high strength verified by FEA � Sectional door construction with expansion coupled to heavy lift frame with double seal arrangement. Door positively clamped on to furnace opening July/August 2018

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� Natural air cooled refractory lined pressure control dampers � Electronic air/fuel ration control with oxygen and humidity monitoring and control loop � Roof area designed with minimal equipment and easy access through stairway � Under hearth EMS integration

Automation and safety For all casthouse equipment operational safety is of paramount importance no matter where the equipment is installed around the world. We adapt very high safety standards even in areas of the globe where they are much less stringent that our EU Directives.

Our equipment is designed with a focus on safety and detailed hazard studies and risk assessments are completed through the design process with our clients. There are many hazards that are common around all casthouse equipment including mobile machinery, handling of scrap and molten metal, trip, fall and pinch points on moving equipment. Many of our installations now integrate safety fences, barriers and lock out safety gates. The automation and control systems is an area that is continually evolving and our dedicated team of engineers undergo regular training and programs with our key partners to keep abreast of the latest developments. We frequently are a leader in the implementation of the latest state of the art control systems. One of latest developments is the implementation of our safeCAST® technology used in the VDC casting of rolling ingot. The system automatically controls and regulates the molten metal level in the ingot mould during the cast and in particularly during the very important ramp up to full casting speed.

The system integrates Precimeter twin delta laser and pin positioner technology to accurately measure the metal level and regulate the molten aluminium flow into the mould through the down spouts. Metal level control accuracy of +/- 2mm during steady state conditions is guaranteed. The launder distribution trough is fully air cooled to minimise any deflection during the casting process. The system also integrates automated combo bag shackers, skim dams and hot air pre-heating system. The technology allows fully automatic cast start with no operators at the casting table. The safeCAST® system can be integrated into existing VDC casting systems and we now have over 12 units in operation. We are also focusing on the industry 4.0 and the benefits this will bring to our control and automation systems. Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. � Contact

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July/August 2018

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· Aluminium International Today

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Aluminium alloys in aerospace Aluminium has a long and successful history in the aerospace industry. As far back as the 19th century, Count Ferdinand Zeppelin made the frames of his iconic airships from it. Aluminium was chosen as it is lightweight, strong, and has a high resistance to corrosion. In this article, Marta Danylenko, marketing manager at online materials database Matmatch, explains the common alloys used in aerospace engineering and their applications, as well as some less well-known ones, and what the future holds for aerospace materials.

A brief history The Wright brothers chose aluminium for the cylinder block and other engine parts for their first manned flight in 1903. It was also the first time an aluminium alloy had been heat-strengthened. This discovery prompted the preference for aluminium in aerospace engineering. Over the years, the aerospace industry has become more demanding in what it needs from materials. The advent of jumbo jets and long-haul international flights meant that the shell and engine parts had to be extremely durable and resistant to fatigue. This has led to the development and use of many different types of aluminium alloys. Commonly used aluminium alloys in the aerospace industry Second only to AA 2024 in terms of its popularity in aerospace engineering, AA2014 is a strong and tough metal and is suitable for arc and resistance welding. However, it has poor corrosion resistance, and for that reason, it is often found in the internal structure or framework of aircraft rather than the shell. Aluminium alloy 2024 is probably the most widely used alloy for aircraft. It was developed after experiments allowing small amounts of cold deformation and a period of natural ageing led to an increased yield strength. 2024 is a high-grade alloy with excellent fatigue resistance. It’s used primarily in sheet Aluminium International Today

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forms such as for the fuselage and wings due to its high tensile strength of roughly 470 MPa. Of the non-heat treatable grades of alloy, AA 5052 provides the highest strength and is highly ductile, so it can be formed into a variety of shapes including engine components and fittings. It is also highly corrosion resistant. AA 6061 alloy is very common in light aircraft, especially homemade ones. It’s easily welded and manipulated, is very light and fairly strong, making it ideal for fuselage and wings. AA 7050 has high corrosion resistance and maintains strength in wide sections. This makes it more resistant to fractures than other alloys. It’s commonly used in wing skins and fuselage, especially in military aircraft. AA 7068 is the strongest alloy available today. Combined with its low mass, it is perfect for military aircraft that need to stand up to tough conditions and attacks. With similar strength properties to steel due to its high levels of Zinc, AA 7075 has excellent fatigue resistance. It can be machined easily which meant it was a popular choice for fighter planes in World War II, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter used by the Japanese Imperial Navy on their carriers between 1940 and 1945. It is still used frequently in military aircraft to this day.

Less common aluminium alloys in the aerospace industry If you need an aluminium alloy that provides maximum strength at elevated temperatures, AA 2219 is the best bet. It was used for the external fuel tank of the first successfully launched space shuttle, Columbia. It has good weldability, but the welds need heat-treating to preserve resistance against corrosion. AA 6063 is mainly used for aesthetic and architectural finishes and can be found in the finer details of an aircraft. It is used primarily for intricate extrusions. AA 7475 is highly resistant to fracture and fatigue. Due to its toughness, it is sometimes found in fuselage bulkheads of larger aircraft. The future of aluminium alloys in aerospace Industry experts are positive about the future of aluminium alloys in aerospace. It is projected that demand for aluminium will double over the next decade. By 2025, there will be a global demand of 80 million tonnes. For this reason, the aerospace industry is increasingly looking to recycled alloys to satisfy their high demand. There is also a push for innovation in the materials used, as well as the design structure of aircraft. For instance, aluminum-lithium alloys have been developed for the aerospace industry to reduce the weight of aircraft and therefore improve performance of the aircraft. Al-Lithium alloys are advanced materials because of their low density, high specific modulus, and excellent fatigue and cryogenic toughness properties. As developing countries become more involved in the aerospace industry, and with increased investment, there will be further innovation in aluminium alloys over the years to come. If you’re looking for a tool to compare engineering material properties, Matmatch’s online database helps you to find materials, compare them side-byside and choose materials that perfectly fit the intended application, the budget for the project and your goals. � Contact

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Cities are growing fuller and as far as their buildings are concerned, they also are growing taller. Aluminium is helping architects solve the challenges associated with constructing taller – and smarter – buildings.

Helping architects build taller cities More than 70 percent of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050. This is putting pressure on city planners and building architects, who need to identify the sustainable and economical technologies needed to build taller buildings. The increasing population in cities is putting a squeeze on real estate. And because their infrastructure costs are increasing as well, cities are tending to expand vertically, also including green areas, rather than horizontally. Tall building design is evolving rapidly The science of tall building design is evolving rapidly. Today, architects are using the power of computers to design and to model the most audacious and complex buildings that their fertile and creative minds can imagine. In turn, engineers are developing the way the building industry uses materials in the construction of tall buildings. Lighter materials that can reduce the weight of the structures and ease their construction are becoming more relevant, and aluminium in the facades and windows of high-rise buildings represents such a trend. Not least, factors such as costeffectiveness and sustainability – or, July/August 2018

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maximum recyclability – are becoming more important. Here, too, aluminium is unique. Aluminium best for modern facades and building envelopes The great advantage of using aluminium as a material for facades and building envelopes is its combination of good mechanical characteristics and ease, thanks to the extrusion process, to obtain any shape of profile that would suit the specifications of the facade in term of aesthetics and performance. Mechanical performance includes ensuring the facade’s ability to resist stress factors such as wind pressure, because the higher the building, the greater the mechanical constraints increase. As an example, the façade on the 828-metre-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai must be able to resist up to 650 kg/sqm of wind pressure. Mechanical performance also includes aluminium’s ability to accommodate possible movements of the structure, from small natural thermal or structural movements up to major displacement when buildings are required to be earthquake-safe. Facades, as the boundaries between the inside and the outside, also need to manage the various

types of flows and exchanges between the external and internal world. Another challenge is fire safety and how to avoid having fires jump from one floor to another through the facades. Fire regulation is becoming more stringent with the types of material used in the façade compositions of high-rise buildings. Building intelligence, improving sustainability Hydro is working on making these facades or building envelopes more “intelligent” to optimise the internal comfort of the users according to the outside conditions, such as temperatures, sun, rain and wind. In fact, a big share of the added value of the facades will be in their intelligence in managing the various flows going through. Companies such as Hydro are developing complete aluminiummade solutions, i.e. products plus flow management systems. Intelligent aluminium windows, too As with facades, windows play a key role in how buildings use energy in areas such as heating, cooling and ventilation. Hydro is developing new technologies to use in aluminium window frames that provide customers with solutions that optimize energy use and increase comfort. Aluminium International Today

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Aluminium a viable material for interior design, too Industrial designer Tom Dixon has learned a lot about aluminium the past couple of years. Now they are friends. The new company headquarters that Tom Dixon Studio has established in London includes a manufacturing workshop that is furnished with aluminium furniture and interior decorations designed by Dixon and delivered by Hydro. In fact, as a collaborating partner, Hydro will regularly send aluminium experts to host workshops at the factory, where they will examine the light metal in the design and production of more sustainable products. Tom Dixon Studio is looking at the site as a hub for design, where selected partners, such as material producers and furniture brands, will collaborate.

One of these is the “quiet” window. With more people moving into cities, noise levels are increasing. In France, the social cost of noise is estimated to be EUR 57 billion annually. The need for soundproofing is thereby a major challenge for architects who erect or renovate buildings. Hydro has been working on the acoustic topic for several years, trying to optimise the acoustic properties of doors and windows. The company is succeeding with its innovative active acoustic window, which is being launched in 2018. The new window, a collaboration between Hydro, Gamba Acoustique and the CNRS Mechanics & Acoustics Lab, combines the power of passive and active technologies. You can open the window up to 10 centimeters, which is more than enough for good ventilation and in accordance with anti-defenestration rules in public buildings. Noise is not completely canceled, but it is reduced enough so that it is no longer a discomfort. Hydro is also developing windows that can allow homeowners to reduce energy costs through the integration of heating and cooling functions within the aluminium frame. Aluminium International Today

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Starting with IKEA Hydro and Tom Dixon Studio are working on several creative projects, including further development of the “Delaktig sofa” that IKEA launched in February. With Delaktig, design engineer Mats Sixtensson of Hydro spent many hours together with Dixon and IKEA’s creative leader James Futcher, trying to make aluminium fit the design. And vice versa. Extrusions are used for the frame of the sofa. But Dixon says he needed to learn more about aluminium first. “We looked first at cardboard to try and make a very affordable frame,” says Dixon, “and then we looked

at natural fiber and resin, but we wanted something that had a sense of permanence and real solidity about it, with a number of technical functions. “We also wanted it to be reusable and adaptable, so aluminium came up as the optimum material.” No limits with aluminium While working with Hydro on the Delaktig project, Dixon says that he and IKEA designer Marcus Engman “were fascinated by industrial production and interested in the way that larger pieces of furniture are still made using fairly primitive manufacturing techniques. “We talked about ways of making a longer-lasting, more sustainable and adaptable piece of furniture which incorporated a lot of discussion about how people’s domestic lives are transforming with smaller spaces.” He then brought that thinking into the new headquarter in London, which is using furniture and interior decorations made from aluminium. “Sustainable design starts on the drawing board, and we believe this type of collaboration is the starting point for production for a more circular economy,” says Hilde Kallevig, who heads communication for Hydro’s Extruded Solutions business area. “With aluminium, only your imagination limits your ideas, and I think this is a big reason why it is a great material for designers working with interior design.”

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Installation process easier with aluminium As our cities grow taller, perhaps the biggest challenge for high-rise buildings is the installation process of the facades. This is because you cannot install the facade on high-rise buildings from the outside, using scaffolding or cradles. The development of unitised systems, using aluminium, is solving this challenge. Unitised systems comprise panels – generally the height of the building slabs

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– that are manufactured in workshops. These are brought to the building site and installed on the steel or concrete structure from the outside of the buildings using cranes, by workers located inside. The well-secured workers then guide and position each panel onto the structure. Why is this an interesting technique? Number one, quality. All panels are manufactured in a workshop in an environment that should ensure good quality.

Secondly, because the technique enables builders to install facades before the completion of the main structure, providing that there is a difference of some floors between construction of the structure and installation of the facade. This reduces the overall time frame of the full building, saving costs. This is why only unitised systems are suitable for high-rise building facades – and why aluminium will be the preferred material in the cities of tomorrow. �

Aluminium International Today

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Investing in technology to achieve long-term success It comes as no surprise that developing technological capabilities is a key priority for companies around the world. In 2017, the world’s 1,000 most innovative companies increased their research and development spending by 3.2% according to a survey done by PwC. That growth rate is expected to continue as decision makers seek out competitive advantages and areas to cut down on costs and inefficiencies. However, looking closer to our own sector, investment by industrial companies made up only 10.2% of the global spending on research and development in comparison to the computing and electronics industry, which contributed to 23.1% of technology investments . The gap begs the question - should industrial companies, including in the aluminium sector, be spending more on technology than we are? At EGA, an aluminium company that has become the largest industrial in the UAE outside of oil and gas, technology development and innovation has paved the way to where we are today. Over the past 25 years EGA has focused on continually seeking to improve the aluminium production process, with a dedicated team focused on technology development. We have used our own home-grown technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s and last year completed a project to retrofit all our older production lines. All of EGA’s 2,777 reduction cells, now run on homegrown technology. To us the answer is clear – industrial companies failing to invest in technology development today will lose out in the long run. Let us look at the business case of the issue. Continuous improvements and investments in our technologies have been fundamental to our commercial success and our environmental performance – translating to cost efficiencies and enhanced productivity. EGA’s smelting innovations have enabled EGA to reach global first quartile performance in cost, and our latest technology, DX+ Ultra has more than double the pot productivity of the company’s original D18 technology developed in 1990. This was achieved through careful Aluminium International Today

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evaluation of the technical challenge. Innovative thinking allowed EGA to more than double the size of pots to maximise productivity, whilst simultaneously ensuring the correct parameters were in place for heat balance and magnetohydrodynamic stability of the pots. At our retrofit project, the new D18+ reduction pots produce 20% more aluminium than those they replaced, boosting EGA’s production capacity by over 58,000 tonnes of aluminium per year with 10 per cent less specific energy consumption per tonne of metal produced. The new technology also reduces emissions of perfluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas generated in

the aluminium smelting process, by 96%. This brings us to a second point. Aside from increased productivity and cost effectiveness, technology can also help us tackle negative perceptions about energy consumption by aluminium companies. As an energy intensive industry, we are constantly on the lookout for ways and means to cut down on power consumption. Technology has been the answer to this problem as well. Today, levels of energy consumed during EGA’s smelting process are among the lowest in the industry. Our technology development, and earlier work since 1980, has reduced the amount of electricity required to produce aluminium by 37.5%, improving both cost and environmental performance. From our the first generation technology in 1980, to the latest design, the energy consumption has been reduced from approximately 20 kWh/kgAl to 12.5 kWh/kgAl. In fact, EGA DX+ Ultra Technology ranks among the most efficient reduction cell technologies currently available. The efficiencies and benefits we have gained through innovation and implementation of our technology have

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not gone unnoticed. Our DX+ Ultra Technology was selected by Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) for its Line 6 expansion project - making EGA the first UAE industrial company to license its own large scale industrial technology internationally. In this way, technology is valuable for aluminium companies seeking to diversify revenue streams. Our need for creative thinking has also helped forge a link between ourselves and academia. This is important as universityindustry collaborations have proven to be mutually beneficial through strengthening the ability of universities to conduct high quality, usable research and, more relevant to us, enhancing the capability of industry to compete globally. At EGA we encourage such partnerships and practical research projects are undertaken at our industrial sites rather than in labs. We believe that technological innovation must be integrated into the business model of companies in our sector. Aluminium companies that wish to compete globally and remain competitive have much to gain from making increased investments in technology. Our success in the years ahead depends on it. �

Furnaces International brings readers a selection of news and technical features focusing on all aspects of the international furnaces market. - Forehearth Technology - Energy Efficiency - Maintenance - Heat Treatment - Vacuum Technology - Process Control - Graphite Technology

- Feeder Technology - Hot Repairs - Rebuild - Induction Technology - Thermal Processes - Testing and Measurement - Furnace Technology

Published quarterly in a digital format, the magazine is sent straight to the inbox of over 50,000 professionals from across the aluminium, steel, and glass industries. As publishers of Aluminium International Today, Steel Times International and Glass International, we are able to bring you the latest developments and news from across the furnaces industry.

Contact us: Editorial: Nadine Bloxsome, Tel +44 (0) 1737 855 115 Sales: Nathan Jupp, Tel +44 (0) 1737 855 027 Manuel Martinquereda, Tel +44 (0) 1737 855 023 Esme Horn, Tel +44 (0) 1737 855 136

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The cyber security challenge for advanced manufacturing By Dr Alexeis Garcia-Perez*

From transport to communication, energy, security and finance, recent developments in technology have had a significant positive impact on most drivers of competitiveness within public and private sectors. Vast amounts of data and information are continuously created and shared as a result of a growing connectivity and the emergence of new devices and applications. These, combined with digital computation and off-site data storage, have changed the manufacturing landscape and provide a potential for dramatic improvements in productivity, quality and costs. Operations and business strategies within the sector increasingly rely on the sharing of growing volumes of data, information and knowledge within the manufacturing ecosystem. Manufacturing firms, their suppliers and customers, the educational and training systems that enable their workforce to perform, the systems that support their entrepreneurship and innovation strategies, and the export and logistics systems that deliver their products to market form an ecosystem where product design, process and business plans, customer, supply chain, financial and even employee’s personal information often flows without major restrictions. Paradoxically, in doing so those intangible resources also become potentially accessible to competitors and adversaries within and outside the sector, thus increasing the risk of confidential and/or proprietary data and information resources being exfiltrated, altered or even destroyed. Risk is not new to the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing staff (e.g. engineers, project managers) are accustomed to dealing with operational risks, while most executives envisage strategy-related risks such as those inherent to innovation, business models or to talent and succession planning strategies. However, different


Training and education providers Suppliers Who owns the...

Other manufacturers


Data? Cyber Risks? Intellectual Property?

Distributors Exports systems

from most of those, cyber security risks are highly dynamic and not always confined to the boundaries of the organisation or even its environment. From compliance with the changing nature of national and international cyber security legislation to the security of devices and systems, and the integrity of sensitive data, each stakeholder within the sector must be prepared to minimise the impact of any loss confidentiality, integrity or availability of any of their data and information resources. Technology-based cyber security risks are related to three key areas: Vulnerabilities associated to the maintenance/viability of complex, disparate and/or antiquated industrial, manufacturing and operational systems; vulnerabilities and threats associated to information technologies; and vulnerabilities and threats that either reside or exploit at the intersection of both operational and information technologies. For example, concepts such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are a convenient and cost-effective way to a more productive workforce. However, their unstructured and uncontrolled ramifications may lead


to the emergence of a shadow IT infrastructure that, by accessing both the IT and operational technology infrastructures, could have a multiplying effect on the vulnerabilities, threats and risks for the sector. In some circumstances manufacturing organisations could struggle to demonstrate compliance of their shadow IT infrastructure with the dynamics of government and industry regulation, particularly in relation to personal data protection and dissemination rules. Although different mechanisms are being put in place across the manufacturing sector to deal with cybercrime, it is widely acknowledged that the cyber security problem and its solution are still perceived purely as a technology instead of a business issue. There are essential business-related factors to be considered in this area, from making cyber security a business priority to engaging the workforce in the management of the cyber challenges of the firm and the sector. Executive and board-level engagement and the cyber awareness levels of employees, third and fourth parties across the industrial ecosystem become an imperative.

*Reader in Cyber Security Management, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University Aluminium International Today

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to maintain incident response and cyber resilience governance, strategies and capacities that enable anticipating, containing and rapidly recovering from a disruption in their internal or external digital environment.

The basis for a cyber security management strategy for the manufacturing ecosystem A cyber security management strategy for manufacturing firms and for the sector is required if the sector is to succeed in the current environment. The following areas should be considered when developing an effective strategy: 1. A firm-specific cyber risk governance frameworks An explicit cyber risk management strategy is required by firms within the manufacturing ecosystem. Each risk management strategy must be enterprisewide and board-approved. It must be made part of the strategic plans and risk management structures of the organisation in order to articulate how the firm (1) understands and manages cyber risk inherent to the firm operation and its products and/or services; (2) maintains and manages an acceptable level of cyber risks (e.g. communication of product designs without risk to the intellectual property); and (3) maintains the resilience of the firm on an ongoing basis. 2. A firm-specific cyber risk management programme Any firms within the manufacturing ecosystem require an explicit programme that enables them to (1) recruit and maintain the staff with the right skills set to meet not only their engineering function but also the relevant cybersecurity responsibilities within their business units; (2) have executives responsible for the management of cyber risks (e.g., chief information security officers); and (3) have audit plans that serve to evaluate the firm’s compliance with its cyber risk governance framework. 3. A firm-specific internal dependency management strategy Stakeholders require effective capabilities July/August 2018

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to identify and manage cyber risks associated with their specific business assets, both tangible (e.g. machinery, plants) and intangible capital assets (e.g. patents and trademarks) throughout the asset lifespans. As well as an inventory of all business assets on an enterprisewide basis, an ability to continually assess and improve the firm’s ability to reduce the cyber risks associated with internal dependencies on an enterprise-wide basis is required.

4. A firm-specific external dependency management strategy Each stakeholder requires an ability to identify the key elements that will enable organisations within the manufacturing sector to map and continuously monitor the cyber risks associated to their external dependencies, as well as their interconnections with systems, individuals and organisations within and outside the manufacturing sector. The strategy would support organisations in their efforts to identify, assess and timely notify designated stakeholders within the manufacturing ecosystem of cyber risk management issues potentially affecting them in order to reduce their impact on the sector. 5. A firm-specific threat intelligence programme Organisations within the manufacturing sector require a programme that enables effective situational awareness capabilities

Conclusion Manufacturing is today at the forefront in the adoption of sensor technology, smart products, Internet of Things (IoT) strategies and data analytics to increase its efficiency and innovations. However, such tectonic shifts in technology and business have outpaced security improvements and, as in all other critical infrastructure sectors, cyber security has been pushed to the fore of the priorities in the manufacturing sector. The argument gains relevance as the sector transitions to advanced manufacturing by exploring the opportunities related to industry 4.0 digital manufacturing and the increased interconnectivity within the manufacturing ecosystem. To achieve and maintain the expected levels of cyber resilience and compliance within the manufacturing ecosystem, stakeholders need to work towards fostering collaboration between their cybersecurity teams and the rest of the business; having a consistent approach to continuous maintenance and upgrading of their industrial, manufacturing and operational systems; increasing the focus of their entire information technology infrastructure on resiliency; and upgrading the skills and capabilities of their cybersecurity function and across the workforce. All of these issues require senior management and decision makers to drive organisational change so that cyber security is no longer considered an IT issue but a system of interrelated elements that interact to achieve the over-arching goal of the system itself: protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, information and knowledge, as the organisation is enabled to prepare, respond, recover and learn from cyberattacks. ďż˝ References Hutchins, M. J., Bhinge, R., Micali, M. K., Robinson, S. L., Sutherland, J. W., & Dornfeld, D. (2015). Framework for identifying cybersecurity risks in manufacturing. Procedia Manufacturing, 1, 47-63. Understanding risk assessment practices at manufacturing companies. Report of a collaboration between Deloitte and MAPI. [Online] Available at: https:// Deloitte/us/Documents/manufacturing/usmfg-mapi-risk-assessment-paper-singlepage-040715.pdf Aluminium International Today

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BUYERS’ DIRECTORY TASTER As a leading resource for the aluminium production and processing industries, the Buyers’ Directory reaches the most senior buyers and suppliers in the business. Distributed to more than 50 countries and read by thousands of industry FURNACE

contacts, it contains a comprehensive alphabetical listing of company and contact details. Here is a sneak peak at some of the listings that will appear in the 2018 Buyers’ Directory.

PROFILES The following companies are exhibiting at ALUMINIUM 2018 at the Messe Düsseldorf, Germany from 9 - 11th October 2018. Find out more at:


booth 11E40 Made by Drache. Casthouse Technology – worldwide.

HERTWICH ENGINEERING GMBH Weinbergerstr. 6, Braunau, Upper Austria, 5280, Austria T: +43 7722 806-0 F: +43 7722 806-122 E: W: Hertwich Engineering, a company of the SMS group, is active worldwide with design, supply, construction and commissioning of speciality equipment for the aluminium industry, in particular for aluminium casthouses.


DANIELI FRÖHLING Scherl 12, D-58540, Meinerzhagen, Germany T: +49 2354 7082 0 F: +49 2354 7082 200 E: W: Danieli Fröhling is synonymous for innovative tailor-made solutions for the aluminium industry. Fröhling customers trust in nearly 70 years’ experience in manufacturing of rolling mills and cutting lines. CARBON ELECTRODES

POLYTEC GMBH Polytec Platz 1-7, D-76337, Waldbronn, Germany T: +49 7243 604-0 F: +49 7243 69944 E: W: Polytec is the market leader for non-contact, laser based vibration and velocity measurement instrumentation. Our innovative solutions allow our customers to maintain their own technical leadership across many fields.


SECO/WARWICK S.A. 8 Sobieskiego Str., 66-200 Zwiebodzin, Poland T: +48 68 38 20 500 F: +48 68 38 20 555 E: SECO/WARWICK has 11 companies located on three continents with customers in nearly 70 countries. It provides standard or customized state-of-the-art heat processing equipment and technologies and is a leader in innovative heat processing solutions. Expertise includes end-to-end solutions in 5 categories: vacuum heat treatment, atmosphere and aluminum thermal processing, controlled atmosphere brazing of aluminum heat exchangers and vacuum metallurgy.

booth 9C20 HERTWICH SMS group, Hertwich Engineering GmbH Weinbergerstr. 6, A-5280 Braunau Tel.: +43 7722 806 1120 Fax: +43 7722 806 1220


FIVES – ALUMINIUM DIVISION Parc Les Erables - Bâtiment 4 66 Route de Sartrouville, CS 50056 78231 LE PECQ, FRANCE, Ile-de-France Telephone: +33 472 4954 54

Stand 10C42 R&D CARBON PO Box 361, Sierre 3960, Switzerland T: +41 27 459 29 29 F: +41 27 459 29 25 E: W: R&D Carbon provides expertise for the worldwide metal, oil and coal industry through R&D studies,onsite audits and process optimisation, carbon test equipment, quality control, certification and training courses. Aluminium International Today

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The preferred English language journal of aluminium production and processing.


Sales: Nathan July/August 2018

16/07/2018 15:48:43


Smart aluminium production processes in times of Industry 4.0 Focusing on time, cost and quality: Which processes steps will look different/will be obsolete in 5-10 years? By Alexander Schlemminger* Aluminium production and processing is a very resource, cost and time-consuming process. Innovative process monitoring technologies can bring significant changes in the future. A tool which could push these changes is Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). By analysing element compositions contactless, inline and within milliseconds it enables smart process control in mining, primary aluminium production, semi product fabrication, product manufacturing and in Al-recycling. These smart processes lead to higher quality, maximum resource utilization and higher revenues. In mining LIBS can analyse minerals on the conveyor to analyse the elemental composition and assess the quality and the material value continuously. With this information the following process parameter can be controlled to the point and material mix-ups belong to the past. In primary/secondary aluminium production LIBS can reduce sample preparation times significantly as well as avoiding sample taking completely by continuous elemental analysis in the liquid phase. With that technology the number alloying steps can be increased and the process limits can be exceeded significantly. Resources are saved e.g. by improving the primary aluminium to secondary aluminium ratio. For every production processes human errors are a big issue and reason for failure and defects. In Al semi fabrication e.g. milling or roll bonding the confusion and mix ups lead to miss-processing and to high waste material in the best case. To customer complaints and safety issues in the worst case. LIBS assure the right alloy being processed at the right time in various process steps. Contactless, within milliseconds and automatically connected to the production planning system (PPS). In automotive, aviation and many

other industries highest stiffnesses in lightweight structures are required. Resistant to corrosion and realisable at low costs for high volume products. Laser welding as well as gluing are one of the technologies of choice to achieve such with aluminium parts. Both technologies have highest demands in regards of process preparation such as surface cleaning and de-coating. With FiberLIBS inline system you can analyse the top surface of your joining area. A LIBS signal which shows anything else than the expected contact material surface is a safe indicator for process preparation issues. Quality issues due to insufficient process preparation are no longer an issue. Most of the aluminium products we are talking about today will be remelted at the end their product lifecycle. In that process step the contamination of the molten aluminium with unwanted elements is a big

issue for every secondary aluminium producer. Before the re-melting process a Secopta MopaLIBS system can analyse the exact alloy composition of each single aluminium part going into the smelting plant. With that data a detailed estimation about the later alloy composition in the melting furnace can be done. Contaminated furnace charges belong to the past. If information about alloy composition of each piece of Al scrap is already on hand the scrap can not only be passively monitored. It can be sorted as well. That can increase quality and value of Al scrap significantly. ďż˝

Fig 1. MopaLIBS sorting unit sensor SECOPTA Analytics GmbH

*Head of Sales, SECOPTA analytics GmbH July/August 2018

Future of alu Secopta.indd 1

Aluminium International Today

16/07/2018 14:12:20


THE COMBINATION OF A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES WITH A NETWORK OF LOCAL EXPERTS IN THE ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY FIVES’ EXPERTS ARE COMMITTED TO ASSISTING CUSTOMERS in both improving their plant’s performance and availability, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of their installations. Thanks to highly-skilled and proactive Aluminium teams based in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Europe, India, Russia, South Africa and UA E, Fives provides an efficient response to your daily needs. From preventive maintenance, modernization, inspection, repair to audit and training, Fives has a unique technical expertise coming from its experience as both equipment designer and supplier, and global solution integrator. Fives aims at enhancing production on a long-term basis while ensuring operators’ safety and equipment reliability. Aluminium

With aluminium components, cars are lighter, use less fuel and emit less pollution. Put your car on a diet. The planet will thank you – and so will your wallet.

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