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March 21, 2022updated 10 Jun 2022 4:47am

Australia imposes ban on alumina exports to Russia

The ban, effective immediately, is expected to impact Russia’s aluminium exports.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

The Australian Government has imposed a ban on alumina and aluminium ore shipments to Russia to restrict the latter’s capacity to produce aluminium.

The export ban further expands an increasing array of sanctions placed on Russia after it launched a military operation on neighbouring Ukraine.

According to a statement, Russia sources around 20% of its alumina needs from Australia.

The immediate ban, which also prohibits bauxite shipments, is expected to impact Russia’s aluminium exports.

Alumina is procured from bauxite ore and is used for producing aluminium, which is subsequently used in several sectors, including as a key input into armaments industries.

A joint statement from several ministries said: “The Foreign Minister has imposed the export ban under Australia’s autonomous sanctions against Russia.

“The government will work closely with exporters and peak bodies that will be affected by the ban to find new and expand existing markets.”

Concurrently, Australia has decided to donate at least 70,000t of thermal coal to help Ukraine meet its energy requirements.

The statement adds: “The assistance will help keep the country’s coal-fired power generators operating and supplying electricity to country’s power grid, supporting the Ukrainian people by keeping lights on, homes heated, and factories running at this very difficult time.

“The Australian Government has worked with the Australian coal industry to source supplies. Whitehaven Coal has quickly arranged a shipment, and the government is now working with Whitehaven and the Ukrainian and Polish governments to deliver the supplies at the earliest available opportunity.”

The Australian Government has agreed to bear the cost of this coal shipment to Ukraine.

It has also committed additional military and humanitarian assistance for the war-affected country.

Earlier this month, it was reported that leading mining firm Rio Tinto Group is planning to suspend bauxite supply for a Russian-owned alumina plant in Ireland.

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