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Pará authorities ask for 50% reduction in Alunorte's production

Pará's Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS) said on Monday that it will determine that the alumina refinery Hydro Alunorte will reduce its production by 50% due to failure to comply with a notification to reach one meter of free edge in the waste dump DRS1 bauxite. In addition, SEMAS said it would request the Paragominas bauxite mine to suspend operations at one of the two dams at the plant.

Semas said it would formally notify the company this Tuesday, February 27th.

In the original notification of Friday, February 23, SEMAS ordered Alunorte to reduce the water level in the DRS1 deposit after extreme rainfall on February 16-17, which led to flooding in the region.

"We have taken significant steps to meet Alunorte's deadline and will continue to devote all efforts to ensure that we meet expectations and requirements", says Hydro's CEO, Svein Richard Brandtzæg. "We will continue our dialogue with local authorities so that all necessary measures are taken to ensure safe operations - with respect for the people, the environment and the local communities of which we are a part," says Brandtzæg.

Although it is too early to determine the size and impact of the determination, it could have significant operational and financial consequences.

The measures implemented at Alunorte to comply with the SEMAS notification led to a continuous improvement in the average of the free edge of DRS1 - the distance between the top of the basin and the water level.

The SEMAS resolution came after Environment Minister José Sarney Filho expressed similar concerns during a press conference on Monday night, inviting the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) to implement all mitigating actions necessary to address concerns about possible water contamination in the local area, including fines or a possible suspension of activities at Alunorte.

SEMAS also stated that it would introduce daily fines of around R $ 1 million until Alunorte reached a free border of at least one meter in DRS1.

Hydro owns 92.1% of the shares in the Alunorte refinery and 100% of the shares in the Paragominas bauxite mine.

This text is machine translated. To view the original Portuguese text, click on PT on the top right of this window

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