Yarwun alumina production rockets after workers axed

WORKERS at Yarwun's Rio Tinto refinery have helped drive up alumina production for the company.

In Rio Tinto's third quarterly report, it showed production was up by five per cent in the alumina sector compared with the same period of 2015.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun refinery
The Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun refinery


The report stated production was driven by "operation improvements" at the Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun refinery.

"Alumina production ... is primarily driven by ramp-up progress and operational improvements at the Yarwun refinery, which was up six per cent on the third quarter production of 2015," the report said.


MAY 16 >> QAL, Yarwun's alumina production rockets with fewer workers

FEB. 16 >>QAL workers axed as price plummets to 25-year low

FEB. 17 >>QAL job cuts 'not a good thing for Gladstone': leaders react

MAR. 9: >>QAL workers in anxious 11 day wait to hear of job losses

MAY 11: >>Yarwun workers learn fate, axed in restructure

MAY 31: >>RIO JOB CUTS: Anxious wait over for Yarwun workers, 50 axed

Yarwun improved its production by 44,000 ton this September quarter compared to the same period last year, taking it to 747,000 ton of alumina.

This takes its year to date production to 2,355,000 ton, an increase from 2,087,000 for nine months in 2015.

The increase follows a successful June quarter report, where overall alumina production was up six per cent.

With strong production reports the refinery can offset the impact from a slight drop in the alumina price.

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The price was $225.12 metric tonne at the end of the quarter down from $239 metric tonne at the end of June.

The company, which once employed 2313 people full time and brought an economic boost of $2.9 billion to Gladstone in 2014-15, is recovering from a downturn earlier this year.

Reeling from the downturn in the alumina industry, more than 100 positions were made redundant at the refinery with cuts beginning in December last year.  

The last round of cuts were in May, when about 50 people were handed redundancies.