Hydro’s alumina refinery Alunorte, received on October 25 a suspension of the embargo on the new bauxite residue deposit area (DRS2) from Brazilian federal environmental agency IBAMA. Embargo on DRS2 from the federal court system remains in place.

The federal environmental agency IBAMA lifted the embargo on DRS 2 after reviewing the information requested from Alunorte and SEMAS, the local environmental agency in the state of Para. The decision to lift the embargo follows an exceptional authorisation granted by IBAMA to Alunorte on October 5 to utilise its state-of-the art press filter technology in processing of bauxite residues. Using DRS2 in combination with press filter technology represents the only long-term sustainable solution for Alunorte.

The suspension of the embargo by IBAMA does not allow for an immediate resumption of DRS 2 testing and commissioning phase, as the embargo from the federal court remains outstanding.

“The new bauxite residue deposit, together with the press filter, is the world’s most modern bauxite residue treatment technology. We will continue the dialogue with the authorities to seek the permission to utilise the new deposit area, as this is fundamental for the sustainability and continuity of the refinery’s operations”, says Hydro`s EVP of Bauxite & Alumina, John Thuestad.

The timing for when the embargoes limiting Alunorte’s production to 50% of full capacity may be lifted remains uncertain.