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May 5, 2009

Alumina Production at Suriname Refinery to be Curtailed by 870,000 Metric Tons

PARANAM, Suriname--Suriname Aluminum Company LLC (Suralco) today announced that production at the Paranam, Suriname alumina refinery was being curtailed by approximately 40% or 870,000 metric tons per year (mtpy). The refinery, which has a production capacity of 2.2 million mtpy, is owned jointly with N.V. BHP Billiton Maatschappij Suriname (BMS). Suralco has an entitlement to 55% of the alumina produced at this facility or approximately 1.2 million mtpy.

Peter de Wit, Managing Director of Suralco and manager of the refinery, stated, “We recognize the importance of the alumina business to the country of Suriname, to its economy and to our communities and employees who depend on the facility for their livelihoods. This decision is made to protect the long-term viability of this industry in the country. Our recently announced agreement in principle to acquire the bauxite and alumina interests of BMS in Suriname underscores Suralco’s commitment to the future of these operations in Suriname.

“For the immediate future, however, we believe both the country and private industry are best served by deferring further bauxite extraction and alumina production until additional in-country bauxite resources are developed and market conditions for alumina improve,” said de Wit. “Approximately 1150 persons are directly employed at the Paranam refinery and in the related mining operations, in addition to contracted personnel. We will do our best to dampen the impact of this production curtailment on those affected by offering early retirement, exit packages and work-hour reductions.”

Suralco is part of the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals group of companies owned 60% by Alcoa Inc. and 40% by Alumina Limited.