The State Environmental Council (COEMA), an agency linked to the State of Pará Department of the Environment (SEMA), northern Brazil, approved, on Wednesday, April 23, the granting of the Preliminary License (PL) to the Alumina Rondon project, a Votorantim Metais development to be built in the city of Rondon do Pará, southeastern Pará.

The project comprises the construction of an alumina refinery integrated to the bauxite mine, and will require investments in the order of R$6.6 billion. With COEMA'S approval, Votorantim Metais completes the first stage of the environmental licensing process, as required to kick off project operations.

"The approval of the Preliminary License represents the society's trust in Votorantim Metais and Alumina Rondon, especially with regard to the company's environmental responsibility and the world class standard of the enterprise," said Sergio Carvalho, the coordinator for Sustainability for Alumina Rondon.

COEMA ratified the Technical Report issued by SEMA, which assessed the project positively, considering its environmental feasibility and relevance to the development of the State of Pará. The completion of the first stage frees Votorantim Metais to secure the Installation License (IL), the next-to-last stage of the licensing process, which will be completed when the Operating License (OL) is secured.

Alumina Rondon is the company's largest project in the mining area, and is expected to start operating by 2017. In the initial phase, Alumina Rondon will produce 7.7 million tonnes of washed bauxite and 3 million tons of alumina, which will rank the refinery as the second largest in the world.