Reuters reports Italy is looking for new investors to take over an the Portovesme aluminium smelter in Sardinia, which the US group plans to close, to soften the blow to the island's economy and save jobs.

Alcoa said earlier this month it would close the smelter and cut output at two Spanish smelters as part of a broader effort to cut its global output by 12% and reduce costs.

A meeting between Glencore and a series of institutional figures took place on Tuesday, the ministry said.

Alcoa declined to comment on the matter as did commodities giant Glencore which has its own lead and zinc operations in Portovesme but has suspended the lead plant's production there since 2009.