Its chief executive, John Bevan, said the aluminium price would go up and down but the level of the dollar over the long term needed to be considered before a decision was made whether to modernise or close the smelter.

He said the Point Henry smelter was an efficient but old smelter, built in 1963.

Alcoa, which is the manager of Alumina and Alcoa's joint-venture company Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC), is reviewing the Point Henry smelter. The review is expected to be completed in June.

''The aim of the review is not about the short term: trying to fix things as it relates to the conditions today,'' Mr Bevan said after Alumina's annual general meeting.

''Clearly, making losses is something that we don't want to do. But it's more about to think through … how we can make it more viable. And for it to be viable, it ultimately needs to be modernised.''