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Norsk Hydro: IBAMA lifts embargo on new Alunorte bauxite residue deposit area

/EIN News/ -- Hydro’s alumina refinery Alunorte, received on October 25th a suspension of the embargo on the new bauxite residue deposit area (DRS2) from Brazilian federal environmental agency IBAMA. Embargo on DRS2 from the federal court system remains in place.

The federal environmental agency IBAMA lifted the embargo on DRS 2 after reviewing the information requested from Alunorte and SEMAS, the local environmental agency in the state of Para. The decision to lift the embargo follows an exceptional authorization granted by IBAMA to Alunorte, on October, 5th, to utilize its state-of-the art press filter technology in processing of bauxite residues. Using DRS2 in combination with press filter technology represents the only long-term sustainable solution for Alunorte.

The suspension of the embargo by IBAMA does not allow for an immediate resumption of DRS 2 testing and commissioning phase, as the embargo from the federal court remains outstanding. 

"The new bauxite residue deposit, together with the press filter, is the world's most modern bauxite residue treatment technology. We will continue the dialogue with the authorities to seek the permission to utilize the new deposit area, as this is fundamental for the sustainability and continuity of the refinery's operations", says Hydro`s EVP of Bauxite & Alumina, John Thuestad.

DRS2 is purpose-built to safely store bauxite residues processed by the press filters. The state-of-the-art press filter technology significantly reduces moisture in residue material, enabling it to be dry stacked, and thereby reduces the required storage area. This leads to improved environmental footprint of the storage area as well as its increased safety.

Alunorte initiated the project to migrate operations to the new press filter technology in DRS 2 in August 2014. Prior to the embargos imposed in March 2018, the refinery was in the process of commissioning of the press filters and DRS2, with the intention to gradually ramp them up while simultaneously reducing the use of drum filters and the old DRS1 deposit area. The resumption of commissioning and tests activities on DRS 2 would allow Alunorte to make the planned transition from DRS1 to the new residue deposit and to the new technology.

“This is a development in the right direction for Alunorte, bringing us one step closer to our original plan of replacing DRS1 with DRS2, based on modern press filter technology,” says head of Hydro’s Bauxite and Alumina business area, John Thuestad.  “In a longer-term perspective, using press filters in combination with DRS2 represents the only sustainable solution for Alunorte – environmentally as well as operationally.” says Thuestad

The timing for when the embargos limiting Alunorte’s production to 50 % of full capacity may be lifted remains uncertain.

Investor contacts
Stian Hasle
+47 97736022
Stian.Hasle@hydro.com

Olena Lepikhina
+47 96853035
Olena.Lepikhina@hydro.com

Press contact
Halvor Molland
+47 92979797
Halvor.Molland@hydro.com

Cautionary note
Certain statements included in this announcement contain forward-looking information, including, without limitation, information relating to (a) forecasts, projections and estimates, (b) statements of Hydro management concerning plans, objectives and strategies, such as planned expansions, investments, divestments, curtailments or other projects, (c) targeted production volumes and costs, capacities or rates, start-up costs, cost reductions and profit objectives, (d) various expectations about future developments in Hydro's markets, particularly prices, supply and demand and competition, (e) results of operations, (f) margins, (g) growth rates, (h) risk management, and (i) qualified statements such as "expected", "scheduled", "targeted", "planned", "proposed", "intended" or similar.

 Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and forecasts that, by their nature, involve risk and uncertainty. Various factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in a forward-looking statement or affect the extent to which a particular projection is realized. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: our continued ability to reposition and restructure our upstream and downstream businesses; changes in availability and cost of energy and raw materials; global supply and demand for aluminium and aluminium products; world economic growth, including rates of inflation and industrial production; changes in the relative value of currencies and the value of commodity contracts; trends in Hydro's key markets and competition; and legislative, regulatory and political factors.

 No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct.  Hydro disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act

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Distribution channels: Mining Industry


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