South America Overview
A World Leader – Alcoa World Alumina Minerals

Alcoa World Alumina Minerals (AWAM) is the world’s leading global source of aluminas for the chemical industry. Our global presence enables us to meet the needs of manufacturers worldwide with our network of four global alumina refineries. As a business of Alcoa – the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina – AWAM is positioned as the market leader in the alumina chemicals industry. AWAM’s four operating locations are located in Australia, Brazil, Spain and the United States. Our South American headquarters is located at Alcoa’s alumina refinery in Poços de Caldas, Brazil. The Poços de Caldas facility is made up of a 90,000-mtpy smelter, a 300,000-mtpy refinery, and the world’s second largest aluminum powder production facility with a capacity of 14,000 mtpy.

Our Products

Operating in several segments of the market, the refinery processes bauxite into alumina, alumina chemicals and aluminum. Commodity hydrates and calcinated aluminas are the two main types of chemicals that Alcoa Poços produces. Used in the chemical and glass industries, the major applications of hydrated alumina are in the manufacturing of paper, ceramics, printing inks, detergents, and antiperspirants. This product is also an excellent flame retardant for the polymer industry because it decomposes into alumina and water when heated beyond 400ºF. Alcoa Poços produces calcinated aluminas as well, and customer applications for these products include furnace refractory linings used by the metal and glass industries, ceramics for spark plugs, abrasives for sandpaper and grinding wheels, cosmetics, and medicines such as antacids.

The Alcoa Way

As a business of Alcoa, AWAM is committed to increasing the quality of life in South America and distinguishes itself by adopting world-class standards and guidelines for working conditions and environmental issues. The Alcoa Poços facility has attained ISO 14001 certification from the International Organization of Standardization, a network of national standards institutes representing more than 140 countries that work in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry and business to establish voluntary guidelines for health, safety and the environment. Because Alcoa believes that the success of our business is linked to the success of the communities where the company operates, Alcoa takes a multi-dimensional approach to being an exceptional corporate citizen. Alcoa’s contribution to South America began in 1965 with the opening of its Poços facility. Contributing to the country's foreign exchange credits through production research and technology, Alcoa Poços carries out its public and community role by directly collaborating with the city’s development, promoting the establishment of new support service businesses and guaranteeing direct employment of approximately 1,000 employees. Alcoa Poços also accounts for a significant portion of icms (state sales tax) collected in the municipality. Another way Alcoa contributes to the South American community is by encouraging its employees to volunteer in community service projects, aiming to improve the quality of life in regards to education, health, culture, safety and the environment. Through programs such as, “We make it happen! Community action!,” Alcoa Poços establishes partnerships with diverse public and civil organizations and institutions, contributing with equipment, diverse materials and constructions, all focused on assisting people of all ages while promoting cultural and environmental education events and activities.