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Hydro evaluates Brazilian minister statement on Alunorte alumina refinery

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA is evaluating statements by Brazilian minister of environment José Sarney Filho given at a press conference late on Monday, about the Alunorte alumina refinery in the state of Pará.

In his statement, the minister called for an evaluation of a possible suspension of activities as a measure against Alunorte. Hydro is analyzing the statement and the possible process and impact. Hydro will revert with further information as soon as possible.

Following heavy rainfall on February 16-17 which led to flooding in the city of Barcarena, there has been speculations that a leakage from Alunorte has caused water contamination. No proof of leakage from the bauxite residue deposits has been detected.

Hydro is cooperating with all relevant authorities in an open and transparent manner to help facilitate further work with local communities and inspections.

Hydro has established an expert task force to lead a comprehensive review at Alunorte to establish the effects of the rainfall on the operational integrity of the bauxite residue deposits, including the ability to treat and dispose of excess water, and to analyze and evaluate internal and external data and information related to possible environmental impact in the local communities.

The results will be presented together with proposed improvements supporting short and longer-term operational perspective.