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South 32 update on alumina business in Jan-Mar’19 quarter
Published:2019-4-25 10:07:25

   Worsley Alumina (86% share) - Worsley Alumina saleable production increased by 1% (or 16kt) to 2.8Mt in the nine months ended March 2019, as further calciner maintenance was undertaken and the refinery retained a substantial hydrate inventory position. We have commenced several initiatives that are expected to improve calciner availability and support a sustainable increase in production to nameplate capacity of 4.6Mtpa (100% basis) from FY20. Given this focus, we now expect FY19 production of 3,795kt (versus prior guidance of 3,965kt).

  Brazil Alumina (36% share) - Brazil Alumina saleable production decreased by 5% (or 46kt) to 944kt in the nine months ended March 2019 as boiler performance and power outages impacted production and our ability to realise the full benefits of the De-bottlenecking Phase One project. We now expect FY19 production of 1,285kt (versus prior guidance of 1,355kt) with the addition of package boilers in the June 2019 quarter to improve the reliability of steam generation. Production guidance of 1,370kt for FY20 remains unchanged.
  Hillside Aluminium (100% share) - Hillside Aluminium saleable production increased by 1% (or 3kt) to 536kt in the nine months ended March 2019 as the smelter continued to test its maximum technical capacity, despite an increase in the frequency of load-shedding events. FY19 production guidance remains unchanged at 720kt, but remains subject to load-shedding. Sales declined by 14% in the March 2019 quarter reflecting the timing of shipments. Notwithstanding the smelter’s continued strong operating performance, its cost profile continues to be influenced by still elevated raw material prices, including alumina sourced from Worsley Alumina. In order to ensure the smelter’s ongoing sustainability and to improve its competitiveness, we commenced a consultation process with our employees9 during the March 2019 quarter regarding a proposed restructure of the business. We expect this process to conclude in the June 2019 quarter.
  Mozal Aluminium (47.1% share) - Mozal Aluminium saleable production decreased by 1% (or 3kt) to 201kt in the nine months ended March 2019 as the smelter’s operating performance was impacted by an increase in the frequency of load-shedding events. FY19 production guidance remains unchanged at 269kt, but remains subject to load-shedding. Notwithstanding the smelter’s continued strong operating performance, its cost profile continues to be influenced by still elevated raw material prices, including alumina sourced from Worsley Alumina. Damage caused by Cyclone Idai to in-country power distribution lines during the March 2019 quarter is also expected to result in higher power costs for the smelter during the June 2019 half year.
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