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Russian aluminium producer Rusal has diverted the shipping of its bauxite ore sourced from Guinea to its refining facility in Ireland, reported Reuters, citing shipping data.

This move has been made following the shutdown of its Nikolaev facility in Ukraine this month due to the Russian shelling.

Rusal runs three mining projects in the West African nation of Guinea.

The bauxite ore produced by the firm’s Kindia operation in Guinea is shipped to the Nikolaev refinery in Mykolaiv.

The Nikolaev facility has a capacity to annually refine bauxite ore into 1.7 million tonnes of alumina.

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The Russian firm itself is not under sanctions, although the UK has imposed sanctions on its billionaire founder Oleg Deripaska.

Rusal is operating in a more ‘restricted’ environment given that Rio Tinto cut its links as part of its total withdrawal from Russia.

Rio Tinto was a key bauxite supplier to the Aughinish refinery plant in Ireland, which is Rusal’s biggest alumina plant in Europe.

Ireland expects the Aughinish refinery near Limerick to continue its operations as it is a major employer in the area.

Ireland’s Department of Enterprise spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The department and its agencies continue to assess the implications of recent developments and are closely monitoring the situation.”

Rusal had stated that it is meeting all its obligations towards its “employees at all its assets around the world, including paying salaries and is strongly committed to continuing to do so”.

The company spokesperson also added that although it does not intend to cease any of its operations in Guinea, there has been a temporary cut down in exports of bauxite from there due to the Ukraine crisis.