Aluminum-based material can scrub CO2 from coal-fired power plants’ exhaust – by Staff ( – November 6, 2022)

An international team of researchers is proposing the idea of using aluminum formate – a metal-organic framework (MOF) – to remove carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants’ exhaust before the greenhouse gas reaches the atmosphere.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, the research group explains that MOFs have exhibited great potential for filtering and separating organic materials—often the various hydrocarbons in fossil fuels—from one another.

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OPINION: The case for subsidizing Quebec aluminum smelters gets harder and harder to make – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – November 2, 2022)

Rio Tinto chief executive officer Jakob Stausholm last month had a downbeat message for the mining giant’s Canadian aluminum operations with prices for the lightweight metal plummeting by almost half since briefly hitting a record high earlier this year.

“It is actually very difficult to have a profitable aluminum industry in North America at this time because Russian aluminum is flowing in,” Mr. Stausholm told Bloomberg News. “Right now we have the lowest aluminum price this year and you would have thought the Russia-Ukraine crisis would have led to higher prices in aluminum.”

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White House Weighs Ban on Russian Aluminum Over Ukraine War Escalation – by Joe Deaux and Jenny Leonard (Bloomberg News – October 12, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The Biden administration is considering a complete ban on Russian aluminum — long shielded from sanctions due to its importance in everything from automobiles and skyscrapers to iPhones — in response to Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine.

The White House is eyeing three options: an outright ban, increasing tariffs to levels so punitive they would impose an effective ban, or sanctioning the company that produces the nation’s metal, United Co. Rusal International PJSC, according to people familiar with the decision-making.

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Russian Aluminum Imports Are Hurting US Market, Rio Tinto CEO Warns – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – September 21, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Rio Tinto Plc’s top executive is raising the alarm that the unfettered flow of Russian aluminum into the US is making North American producers less competitive.

Russian imports, which remain exempt from US sanctions, are flowing into the country unrestricted when allies like Australia continue to face restrictions left over from the Trump administration, Chief Executive Officer Jakob Stausholm said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. His comments are the most candid about the aluminum industry since taking the helm of Rio at the start of 2021.

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To buy or not to buy: Russian aluminium dilemma for Europe’s buyers – by Joan Faus (Reuters – September 15, 2022)

BARCELONA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Europe’s power crisis, production cuts and shortages of aluminium have left consumers in a quandary about Russian supplies of the metal vital for the region’s transport, construction and packaging industries.

Some are choosing to shun Rusal’s metal, while others are more sanguine – pointing to the fact that neither the company nor its metal is under sanctions imposed on other Russian companies after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

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U.S. step up Russian aluminium, nickel imports since Ukraine war – by Eric Onstad (Reuters – September 7, 2022)

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The European Union and United States have ramped up buying key industrial metals from Russia, data showed, despite logistical problems spurred by the war in Ukraine and tough talk about starving Moscow of foreign exchange revenue.

The metal shipments highlight the West’s difficulty in pressuring Russia’s economy, which has performed better than expected and seen its rouble currency surge as buoyant oil revenue has helped offset the impact of sanctions.

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Metal plants feeding Europe’s factories face an existential crisis – by Mark Burton, Daniel Hornak and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – September 2022)

(Bloomberg) — In the aluminum industry, closing a smelter is an agonizing decision. Once power is cut and the production “pots” settle back to room temperature, it can take many months and tens of millions of dollars to bring them back online.

Yet Norsk Hydro ASA is preparing this month to do exactly that at a huge plant in Slovakia. And it’s not the only one — European production has dropped to the lowest levels since the 1970s and industry insiders say the escalating energy crisis is now threatening to create an extinction event across large swathes of the region’s aluminum production.

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Electric vehicle industry prizes steel over aluminum, Cleveland-Cliffs CEO says – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – August 22, 2022)

A Detroit automaker and US steel producer sparred at an industry gathering this week on whether steel or aluminum is the preferred metal for electric-vehicle bodies.

The top executive of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the second largest US steelmaker, said that EV companies were preferring steel over aluminum. But an executive director from General Motors Co., the biggest US automaker, said there’s no broad brush.

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Europe’s Power Crunch Cuts Zinc and Aluminum Capacity in Half – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – July 20, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Europe has lost about half of its zinc and aluminum smelting capacity within the past year, and a further surge in power prices could knock more plants offline over winter, the region’s biggest metal producers warned.

Eurometaux, which represents miners, smelters and fabricators employing 500,000 people in Europe, is underscoring the risks that lie ahead for the industry as the European Union urges member states to cut gas usage to avert a drastic escalation of the region’s energy crunch over the winter months.

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Rio Tinto invests $188m to upgrade aluminum smelter in Quebec – by Staff ( – July 14, 2022)

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) is investing $188 million (C$240 million) to increase the production capacity for low-carbon, high-value aluminum billets at its Alma smelter in Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, by 202,000 tonnes.

The existing casting centre at Rio Tinto’s Alma plant will be expanded to accommodate new state-of-the-art equipment, including a casting pit and furnaces, allowing a larger portion of the aluminum produced to be converted to higher value billets.

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Column: Market turbulence won’t slow aluminum’s green drive – by Andy Home (Reuters/ – May 26, 2022)

These are turbulent times for the global aluminum market. Aluminum has for years been characterized by chronic oversupply thanks to China’s relentless build-out of primary smelting capacity. Now, however, buyers in Europe and the United States are paying up record high premiums to get hold of physical metal.

The Chinese aluminum juggernaut has run out of momentum and smelters in Europe are powering down as a rolling energy crunch takes a rising toll on the region’s producers. London Metal Exchange (LME) stocks are disappearing to fill gaps in the supply chain. Even after its recent tumble LME three-month metal at a current $2,860 per tonne is trading at levels last seen in the great bull market of 2008.

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Guinea’s military rulers pressure Chinese and other foreign companies to pay more mining royalties – by Jevans Nyabiage (South China Morning Post – April 18, 2022)

About half of China’s imports of bauxite – a mineral used to make aluminium – are from the West African nation

The ruling Guinean military junta’s determination to increase revenues from its bauxite and iron ore resources could hit China’s efforts to make inroads into the West African nation.

Despite assurances that the military would respect “existing regulations, contracts and investments” after Alpha Condé was removed as president in a coup in September, Guinea has been exerting more pressure on foreign mining firms. Most recently, it ordered foreign companies to construct local bauxite refineries and in March suspended operations at Simandou, the country’s largest iron ore deposit.

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Metals World Agonizes Over War But Keeps Buying From Russia – by Jack Farchy, Mark Burton and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – April 4, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Last month, 13 copper-industry representatives at the London Metal Exchange were asked whether Russian metal should be blocked from its warehouses. Ten of them said “yes.” But when advisory groups for nickel and aluminum discussed the same question, the general consensus was “no.”

The LME, which is the ultimate decision-maker, says it won’t take action that goes beyond government sanctions — which, so far, have left most of the metals industry untouched.

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Column: Australian alumina ban will squeeze Rusal and aluminium – by Andy Home (Reuters – March 21, 2022)

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Australia’s decision to ban exports of alumina to Russia tightens further the raw materials squeeze on Russian aluminium giant Rusal. The company’s four million tonnes of smelter capacity each year processes eight million tonnes of alumina, which sits between bauxite and refined metal in the aluminium production chain.

Rusal’s domestic alumina plants accounted for only 37% of its smelter needs last year. The balance was imported. The top two suppliers were Ukraine, where Russia’s invasion has closed Rusal’s Nikolaev refinery, and Australia.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to impact global aluminum supply; nickel prices surge – by Staff (S&P Global – February 24, 2022)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to have a significant impact on global aluminum supply and prices, while the news sent nickel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange to a historic high Feb. 24.

The most-active nickel contract traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a historic high Feb. 24 as markets remain concerned about available inventories and export flow into China.

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