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September 23, 2003

Alcoa Moves Forward on Three Oaks Mine

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 23, 2003--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that it had approved a new $83 million investment to develop the Three Oaks Mine, in central Texas, which will produce lignite coal for Alcoa's nearby Rockdale, Texas power plant and smelter. All permits have been approved for the mine, and construction is underway.

Bill Eckert, Manager of Strategic Projects- Primary Metals said, "It took a lot of dedication and hard work by many people to get this project put together, permitted and funded. Congratulations are in order for everyone involved, including those in our community area where we received strong support throughout the process.

"The reclamation work at our nearby Sandow Mine has won state and national awards," said Eckert. "That same tradition of environmental excellence will be brought to Three Oaks Mine. Creation of new wetlands, to be held in perpetuity, is an example of the environmental mitigation activities associated with stream and wetland disturbances that are in the plans approved by the Railroad Commission of Texas and the U S Army Corps of Engineers," Eckert noted.

Three Oaks Mine, along with the power supplied from Texas Utilities Unit 4, helps to solidify the cost position of Alcoa's 264,000 mtpy Rockdale aluminum smelter. The new mine will be able to provide fuel for Rockdale's power generation station for approximately 35 years.

As previously announced, the final plans for Alcoa's power generation Units 1, 2, and 3 are still being determined, but a decision to modify, shut down, or replace these units will be made within the next year.

Impressive progress has been made on improvements in productivity and cost reductions in the smelter and more changes will be required to maintain the global competitiveness and viability of the smelter and cast house according to Location Manager Geoff Cromer.

Cromer said, "This investment decision is positive news for Rockdale. Alcoa's willingness to invest resources in Texas is consistent with the improved performance that we have accomplished in all areas of the facility and the strong support we have received from the community."

Alcoa's Rockdale, Texas Operations employ approximately 1,200 people with an annual payroll of approximately $100 million, which goes into a nine county area of Central Texas where the employees live. In addition, there are many other jobs outside of Alcoa that support the Operations.

Through plant donations and Alcoa Foundation grants and scholarships, approximately $250,000 goes into the surrounding communities annually. This is in addition to the active community involvement and volunteer efforts of Rockdale employees.

The plant purchases about $250 million in goods and services annually, much of which is from the Central Texas area.

Throughout the mine permitting process there were several public comment meetings over the course of four years, where several hundred people from the communities took time from their jobs to provide comment in support of Alcoa and this project. These people -- and many entities such as County Courts, cities, school districts, Congressmen, State Representatives and State Senators -- sent letters of support to the agencies administering the permitting programs.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum and alumina and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 40 countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com .