Archive | Aluminium/Bauxite

Canada shouldn’t ratify new trade deal until steel, aluminum tariffs end: Steelworkers – by Kerri Breen (Global News – March 31, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

The head of Canada’s steelworkers’ union says the federal government should refuse to ratify the new North American trade deal until U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum have been lifted.

Ken Neumann told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson that Ottawa needs to “draw a line in the sand” on the matter. It’s been nearly a year since the Trump administration imposed a 25 per cent tariff on imports of steel from Canada and 10 per cent on aluminum.

The measure prompted the Canadian government to impose $16.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American goods such as whiskey and washing machines. Continue Reading →

Guinea risks ‘conflict and confusion’ with mining eviction policy – by Nellie Peyton (Reuters U.K. – March 21, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

DAKAR, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Civil society groups rejected Guinea’s first policy seeking to protect people displaced by mines and dams on Thursday, saying it would worsen poverty and conflict in the mineral-rich nation.

Seven human rights and development organisations asked the government not to adopt the proposed national standards for relocating and compensating displaced communities, and to spend the next six months consulting with local people instead.

“If the document is adopted like this, it means the problem will never be resolved,” said Mamady Koivogui, executive director of the Association for Mines Without Poverty, one of the groups which hosted a Conakry news conference on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Column: New controversy engulfs London Metal Exchange’s warehouses – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – March 13, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

Long load-out queues earlier this decade generated media scandal, a flurry of legal action and intense regulatory scrutiny of the exchange. The ensuing raft of reforms to its storage network appeared to have laid the issue to rest.

Not so. At the end of February, there was a 229-day queue to get aluminium out of warehouses in Malaysia’s Port Klang. That’s business days, not calendar.

Some of that metal is at the centre of a dispute between the warehouse operator, ISTIM, and trading powerhouse Glencore, which has lodged a complaint with the LME. The argument turns on the minutiae of the exchange’s labyrinthine warehouse rules but the underlying problem remains the same as ever. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto start-up team to shape future growth – by Luke Housego (Australian Financial Review – March 10, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques says a new internal start-up team that will work across the group’s operations will help shape how the resources giant looks in the decades to come.

“We’ve been around for 137 years – I have no doubt in my mind that the Rio you will experience in 10 or 20 years from now will be very different from the Rio today,” Mr Jacques said.

“Because I’m an old-timer from that perspective – what resonates with me I know will not resonate with my daughters or resonate with the next generation of people who run Rio Tinto.” Continue Reading →

‘Nice and dirty’: Rio’s new mine taps aluminium boom – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – March 9, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Construction jobs always involve a few risks, but for the workers who built Rio Tinto’s new $2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine on Cape York, some of the safety procedures were particularly unique.

The advice to workers was quite snappy, much like the risk sometimes observed in the water or on the riverbanks in the area: always keep at least six metres from the water’s edge, always face the water when near it, and, of course, always carry a big stick.

Because a potential threat, which is also spelt out in large signs at a ferry terminal Amrun mine workers must travel through en-route to work, is of a potential crocodile attack. Continue Reading →

Canada threatens not to ratify USMCA until U.S. ends steel, aluminum tariffs – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – February 26, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canada is threatening to not ratify the renegotiated North American free-trade pact if U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t first remove steel and aluminum tariffs, in a bid to restart serious talks over the punitive duties.

Canadian officials have been privately delivering this warning to their U.S. counterparts and members of Congress for several weeks, said government sources with knowledge of the discussions, before Transport Minister Marc Garneau went public with a version of the message on Sunday.

The move is designed to use Canada’s last opportunity to leverage the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – one of Mr. Trump’s priority policies – to put pressure on the White House into ending its trade war with Ottawa. Continue Reading →

The United States’ aluminum tariff wall is crumbling – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – It is almost a year since the United States imposed duties on imports of aluminum and steel on national security grounds. If the aim of the so-called “Section 232” tariffs was to lift domestic production, President Donald Trump’s administration can claim a degree of success.

U.S. output of primary aluminum has started rising sharply thanks to restarts of idled capacity, although not all of them have been directly down to the 10-percent import tariff.

If, however, the aim was also to tackle rising import penetration, particularly by Chinese aluminum producers, tariffs may already have passed peak effectiveness. Ever more gaps are appearing in the aluminum trade wall as the number of exclusions granted for specific products lengthens. Continue Reading →

Canada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – February 14, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Canada and Mexico won’t consider ratifying the revised North American Free Trade Agreement unless the United States lifts its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said Tuesday.

Grassley, who held meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena Coquilast week, said the levies are now the “biggest impediment” to approving the deal.

“The Senate in Mexico is not going to take it up until the tariffs are off,” Grassley said during a call with reporters. “The House of Commons in Canada’s not going to take it up if it’s not there soon after March 1 and it’s not going to be there unless the tariffs are off. And even Republicans and Democrats in the Congress of the United States say those tariffs have to go off.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: Trump’s metal tariffs end up favoring China’s steel and aluminum over Canada’s – by Erin Dunne (Washington Examiner – February 11, 2019)

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

President Trump has many justifications for his tariffs: national security, pushing back on unfair trade deals, and protecting American manufacturing. Not on the list: playing favorites with Chinese imports over those from neighboring Canada. But through the convoluted exclusions process of U.S. tariffs, that’s exactly what has happened.

As the CBC reported, about 40 percent of U.S. imports of Chinese steel have been excluded from the 25 percent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and 86 percent of imports of Chinese aluminum, otherwise subject to a 10 percent tariff, have been excluded.

For comparison, only 2 percent of U.S. imports of Canadian steel are free from tariffs and less than 1 percent of aluminum. So how did this happen? Continue Reading →

Trump orders agencies to buy U.S.-made steel, aluminum and cement ‘to the greatest extent’ possible – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – February 7, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

A new executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump aims to strengthen his Buy America initiative by “encouraging” agencies to purchase a wider range of U.S.-made materials for infrastructure projects.

The order, published Thursday, urges agency heads to purchase more American-made construction materials for infrastructure projects ranging from surface transportation and water infrastructure to energy transmission, broadband internet and cybersecurity projects.

It follows on Trump’s 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, which tightened standards for federal procurement departments and companies that hire foreign workers. Continue Reading →

Rusal shares soar, aluminum falls as U.S. lifts sanctions – by Patricia Zengerle and Polina Ivanova (Reuters U.S. – January 27, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on the core empire of Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, including aluminum giant Rusal and its parent En+, despite a Democrat-led push to maintain them.

The move, which sent the Russian stock index to an all-time high, has watered down the toughest penalties imposed since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, following a lobbying campaign in the United States that lasted almost 10 months.

Hong-Kong listed shares in Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer outside China, hit their highest since April on Monday, rising 9 percent. Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dropped as much as 1.4 percent after the open. The sanctions had sent London aluminum to a seven-year high when they were announced in April last year amid fears of a supply squeeze. Continue Reading →

Canada collects $839M in steel and aluminum tariffs, but aid for sector mostly unspent – by Janyce McGregor (CBC Politics – January 27, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/

Federal support from $2-billion aid package slow to pay out

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told an interviewer in Davos this week that once the U.S. drops its steel and aluminum tariffs, Canada will too, “30 seconds later.”

Until that day comes, the extra taxation is pretty lucrative for the federal government. Finance Canada says $839 million was collected in the six months leading up to Dec. 31 from retaliatory tariffs on imported American steel, aluminum and other products.

Canada didn’t start this tariff spat, and from the prime minister on down every Canadian official says he or she wishes it would end. The tariffs on both sides of the border have disrupted supply chains and added extra costs for consumers and businesses across a wide range of industries. Continue Reading →

Column: Global aluminium production growth brakes sharply – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – January 24, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Global aluminium production grew at its slowest pace in a decade in 2018, and most of that was in the first half of the year. Output totalled 64.34 million tonnes, according to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), up by just 1.5 percent on 2017. Production did no more than flat-line over the second half of 2018.

It was the weakest production performance since 2009, when the industry was battered by the global financial crisis, a collapse in prices and multiple smelter closures. Even China, the world’s dominant producer, ran out of expansion steam last year with growth of 1.6 percent, while the rest of the world managed just 1.4 percent.

For the world outside China it was a year of unusually high disruption rates but for smelters everywhere the real problem is price. As articulated by U.S. producer Alcoa last week, at current prices some 30-40 percent of the world’s smelters are losing money. Continue Reading →

Biting the bullet, not the dust: Deripaska gives up his aluminium empire – by Polina Devitt, Anastasia Lyrchikova and Katya Golubkova (Reuters U.K. – December 20, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russia’s Rusal (0486.HK), the world’s top aluminium producer outside China, is widely seen as a Christmas present for the company, global consumers of its metal, and the Russian stock market.

But its co-owner and founder Oleg Deripaska will have mixed feelings, as the deal means giving up control of his prized aluminium empire and then seeing it return to business as usual while he remains blacklisted alongside drug lords.

It’s a challenge for Deripaska, once Russia’s richest man, as he has never before sold a major asset. He started building his empire during the 1990s “aluminium wars” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, waging several battles with rivals. Continue Reading →

Alcoa Cuts More Aluminum Output in Quebec – by Joe Deaux and Sandrine Rastello (Bloomberg News – December 19, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Alcoa Corp. will further curtail production at a Canadian smelter as the biggest U.S. aluminum producer faces a shortage of workers amid a dispute with unionized workers and the impact of U.S. tariffs on shipments of the metal.

The Pittsburgh-based company said it will curtail half of the one operating potline’s 138,000 metric ton capacity at its majority-owned Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. smelter in Quebec. Alcoa attributed the cut to recent departures and retirements of salaried employees, who were already working extra shifts since the producer locked out more than 1,000 union employees on Jan. 11.

The move is the latest twist in a labor dispute that started over pensions and recruitment rules, but turned into a deadlock that shut the smelter’s two other potlines. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst Andrew Cosgrove estimated that the lockout at Becancour could curtail 280 000 t this year from the global market. Continue Reading →