The joint petition aims to allow the Alunorte alumina refinery to resume its installation and commissioning activities at DRS2. The petition came after Alunorte, Hydro, Pará state environmental agency SEMAS and Ministerio Publico Federal signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing an agreement regarding the necessary measures to resume commissioning activities at the new, state-of-art deposit area.
As part of the agreement, Alunorte will perform a socioeconomic study on possible impacts of DRS2. If the study indicates a need for compensatory measures, such measures shall aim to contribute to sustainable and long-term improvements in potentially affected communities. Moreover, Alunorte is committed to involve Ministerio Publico Federal in the potential necessary updates of the environmental license.
“This is an important step forward, arising from our ongoing dialogue with the authorities. The DRS2 and press filters is the most sustainable bauxite deposit technology available in the world, and the only long-term solution for Alunorte operations,” says John Thuestad, Executive Vice President of the Bauxite & Alumina business area.
Alunorte and Ministério Público Federal will await the court’s decision on the joint petition. While the federal court’s embargo is preventing Alunorte from using DRS2, Alunorte continues to utilize the old bauxite residue deposit area (DRS1) to sustain production at the refinery.
The Federal Court lifted Alunorte’s production embargoes on May 20th, allowing the alumina refinery to ramp up its production from 50 percent towards normal levels. Alunorte is honoring the commitments agreed in the technical agreement (TAC) signed with Ministério Público and the State Government of Pará, represented by SEMAS.
Internal and external reviews, including inspections from authorities, has confirmed that there was no overflow from Alunorte’s bauxite residue deposits or harmful spills from the February 2018 rainfall.