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Seven board members are also departing as the aluminium giant seeks a way out of the sanctions program A Rusal aluminum refinery near the Siberian town of Achinsk. (Photo: ILYA NAYMUSHIN/REUTERS)

Rusal pays debt ahead of schedule

Seven board members are also departing as the aluminium giant seeks a way out of the sanctions program A Rusal aluminum refinery near the Siberian town of Achinsk. (Photo: ILYA NAYMUSHIN/REUTERS)

Russian aluminium giant UC Rusal has announced the repayment of US$371 million) in indebtedness on a 2010 loan.

Analysts with aluminiuminsider.com state that, although aluminium is at multi-year highs at the moment, “Rusal is still playing it safe, to a large extent, due to rising Russian taxes and a recent coup in Guinea”.

The metal this week traded at nearly US$3000 per ton.

“The Government situation in the West African nation could have a major effect on the source of over 40 per cent of Rusal’s total global bauxite supply,” it was noted.

Rusal’s main products are primarily aluminium, aluminium alloys, foil, and alumina. The company is vertically integrated, with assets right througout the production process, from bauxite and nepheline ore mines to aluminium smelters and foil mills.

The company operates in 19 countries on five continents.

In Jamaica, Rusal owns Windalco — a bauxite and alumina production complex, which uses an opencast method to extract bauxite which lies close to the surface. The facility infrastructure includes a shipping port and several farms. The facility infrastructure includes a commercial seaport and farms in Manchester and St Ann.

In 2016 Rusal agreed to sell its Alpart alumina refinery in Jamaica to China’s State-owned Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company(JISCO), said to be a way of deepening its business relations with China.

In the Caribbean Rusal owns 90 per cent of the Berbice-based Aroaima Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc, producing and shipping 1.5 metric tonnes of calcined bauxite in 2017 to the Rusal-owned Nikolaev refinery in the Ukraine.

The current settlement relates to a loan taken years ago from Sberbank, combining US dollars and Russian rubles, and totalling US$2.1 billion and ₽79.5 billion after the recent repayment.

Ongoing works a the Aroaima Bauxite Company of Guyana mine in Berbice.

Amortisation begins three years from this month, while final maturity occurs at the end of 2027.

Alexander Popov, Rusal’s finance director, said in a related press release that the company would continue to find ways to operate more economically.

AluminumInsider.com said Rusal’s shareholders voted down a proposed dividend payment last week.

They achieved this, despite objections raised by Sual Partners, who owns just over a quarter of the company. Sixty-two per cent of the votes cast at the meeting were against paying a dividend, which Rusal has not done in four years.