Mining and Heavy Industries

Rio to cut ties with Russian-controlled Rusal

Alcoa produces light metals, including alumina and aluminium.

Rio Tinto says it is declaring force majeure on several of its agreements with Russian-controlled aluminium group Rusal, due to the severe sanctions imposed by the United States.

The United States Treasury announced on April 6 it would implement sanctions on various Russian individuals and companies.

“Rio Tinto has reviewed arrangements it has with impacted entities,” the ASX-listed mining giant said on April 13.

“As a result of the impositions of these sanctions [on Rusal], Rio Tinto is in the process of declaring force majeure on certain contracts and is working with its customers to minimise any disruption in supplies.”

Rio’s arragnements with Rusal include Rusal’s 20% interest in Queensland Alumina, and associated supply and offtake agreements. There’s also contracts relating to bauxite sales to Rusal’s refinery in Ireland, and offtake deals for alumina used at Rio’s smelters in France and Iceland.

“Rio is fully committed to complying with the US sanctions,” the miner said.

Rusal is controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was heavily targeted by the recent sanctions. Rusal’s Aughinish alumina refinery in Ireland is Europe’s largest, and employs 450 workers.

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