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Alcoa, BHP Billiton Reach Agreement in Principle; Alcoa’s Suralco To Acquire Joint Venture Interests of BHP Billiton in Suriname
NEW YORK--Alcoa World Alumina LLC and Billiton Suriname Holdings B.V. have reached
an agreement in principle where Suriname Aluminum Company LLC (Suralco),
an Alcoa subsidiary, will acquire the bauxite and alumina refining
interests of N.V. BHP Billiton Maatschappij Suriname (BMS), a BHP
Billiton subsidiary, in Suriname. Terms are not disclosed.
Suralco and BMS have been participants in mining and refining joint
ventures in Suriname since 1984. BMS currently has a 45% interest and
Suralco a 55% interest in the joint ventures. Prior to the establishment
of the joint ventures, BMS had separately conducted mining operations in
the country, while Suralco has been active in Suriname for almost 100
Late in 2008, BHP Billiton informed the government of the Republic of
Suriname that it had decided to discontinue its activities in Suriname
at year end 2010. “We are pleased that Suralco has agreed to acquire
these BMS interests,” said Frank Plantenberg, Chief Operating Officer
South America BHP Billiton Aluminum. “We have worked with Alcoa in
Suriname for a number of years and are confident the company will
maintain the joint ventures’ practices and policies for dealing with
local communities, employees and the environment.”
“While the current conditions affecting the aluminum and alumina
industries are challenging, we continue to believe in the long-term
value of these businesses and we are pleased to be able to acquire these
interests of BHP Billiton in Suriname,” said Franklin Feder, President
of Alcoa Latin America. “This transaction would not have been possible
without the support of the government of the Republic of Suriname,
particularly the personal involvement of President R.R. Venetiaan and
Natural Resources Minister G.A. Rusland.
“We look forward to further discussions with the government regarding
the future of these industries in the country and are confident that
arrangements beneficial to the interests of the country and private
industry can and will be worked out,” said Feder.
Suralco and BMS anticipate completing the transaction by the end of June
2009, subject to any required regulatory approvals. Suralco is a part of
Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) a joint venture between Alcoa
and Alumina Limited, with Alcoa holding 60 percent.