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November 17, 1997

Alcoa to Launch Wagerup Alumina Refinery Expansion

PITTSBURGH--November 17, 1997--
Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals announced today that it will begin a 440,000-metric-ton-per-year expansion of its Wagerup alumina refinery in Western Australia. Construction will begin immediately with expected completion by mid-1999.

The US$193 million (A$257.5 million) expansion will increase Wagerup's operating capacity from 1.75 million metric tons per year to 2.19 million metric tons per year. This expansion is the first stage of a planned expansion to 3.3 million metric tons per year at Wagerup, for which the company has obtained environmental approval.

Robert F. Slagle, president of Alcoa World Alumina, said: "Along with the restart of our alumina refinery at St. Croix announced last month, this expansion at Wagerup will provide much needed additional capacity to meet our growing customer demand."

Alcoa Chairman Paul O'Neill said: "Alcoa's commitment to the further expansion of Wagerup started in 1994 when we first lodged a Notice of Intent seeking Australian government approval for the project. Market conditions now warrant proceeding with this expansion."

Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals is a global alliance between Alcoa and WMC, Ltd.