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Australian Aluminum Smelters seek Exemption from Coronavirus Lockdowns

Metal News - Published on Fri, 27 Mar 2020

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Australian Finance Review reported that Australia's loss-making aluminium smelters have warned they may never return if forced to join the rest of society in coronavirus lockdowns, and urged governments to grant them an exemption. The Aluminium Council, which is effectively Rio Tinto, Alcoa, Rusal and Alumina Limited, has asked to join the ranks of essential industries, and argued for their entire supply chain to also win exemption. Aluminium Council l in a joint statement with the Australian Workers Union said ''Our sites rely on these small to medium-sized businesses, who supply specialist skills, products and services for the continued safe operation of our facilities. The temporary closure in any part of this supply chain could result in chemical instability in alumina refineries or the freezing of an aluminium smelter, risking permanent closure of these operations. 'The industry, if turned off, cannot simply be turned back on. The destruction of capital and jobs would be devastating for Australia’s regional economy and communities. The aluminium industry must be exempt from any shutdown measures.''

High electricity prices are the biggest problem facing local smelters, all of whom have held talks with governments over the past six months about funding support to ensure their survival.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 27 Mar 2020
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