aluminium

If it’s not iron ore, then Vale is not interested, it seems. In its latest attempt to slim down and rid itself of non-core assets, the Brazilian miner said on Monday that it will sell at least half of its stake in Norway’s aluminium producer Norsk Hydro. The sale could fetch as much as $1.1bn. Continue reading »

Too big to fail? Aluminij, Bosnia’s aluminium smelter, its biggest exporter and one of its biggest industrial employers, has been given a last-minute reprieve by the regional government at a politically sensitive and economically precarious time. The plant had been expected to close on Monday with the loss of 900 jobs at the plant and an estimated 4,000-plus indirect jobs in Bosnia and neighbouring Croatia. Continue reading »

Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium group, on Monday reported losses for last year, announced new plans to cut output, and repeated calls for other producers to reduce capacity in an over-supplied industry.

All very sensible. But rivals won’t necessarily do as Rusal asks. And there there doubts whether the company can deliver on its pledge to reduce capacity in Russia by 7 per cent this year when the Kremlin won’t want the job cuts. No wonder the shares fell 3.4 per cent. Continue reading »

How much money can you lose up the Zambezi? Quite a lot if you are Rio Tinto.

The miner’s shares fell nearly 3 per cent early on Thursday after it announced a $14bn writedown and the departure of chief executive Tom Albanese and of Doug Ritchie, the man in charge of the group’s ill-fated Mozambique coal venture.

A spectacular example of the risks in mining – and the dangers of operating in emerging markets as the company disclosed that it never received formal approval for a key element of the Mozambique project – transporting coal on the Zambezi. Continue reading »

Rusal is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The world’s largest aluminium producer on Monday produced its worst quarterly result since 2008.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were down 82 per cent to $130m in the three months to September compared to the previous quarter, on a 9.2 per cent drop in revenues to $2.6bn. With supply outstripping demand and prices down around 10 per cent over the past year, the debt-laden Russian group has few options but to keep stripping out costs – and maintain good relations with its creditors. Continue reading »

More bad news for Oleg Deripaska. As a huge lawsuit brought by a fellow Russian oligarch against him began in London, the billionaire chief executive of Rusal would have received word from Nigeria that his company’s investment there is in peril.

The supreme court in Abuja ruled on Friday that Rusal should be stripped of ownership of the former state-owned Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (Alscon). Continue reading »

Given weak aluminium prices, investors were braced for bad results from Rusal, the world’s largest producer. But Monday’s announcement of an 84 per cent slump in first-quarter net profits to $74m still came below expectations.

Oleg Deripaska, CEO, warned that conditions would remain difficult for some time. Shares in the Russian company dropped 1.4 per cent, putting them 57 per cent down over the last 12 months. Continue reading »

Russian oligarchs make uneasy partners – both for each other and for other shareholders. The falling out at Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium group, isn’t the first such row, and it won’t be the last.

Viktor Vekselberg resigned as Rusal chairman late on Monday, declaring that the company was in “deep crisis” because of bad management and heavy debt. On Tuesday, Oleg Deripaska, Rusal’s dominant shareholder, hit back: the company announced that Vekselberg had “failed to perform his functions”, and not turned up to a live board meeting for a year. Continue reading »