Australia bans alumina exports to Russia, sources coal for Ukraine

(Reuters) – Australia has imposed a right away ban on exports of alumina and aluminum ores, together with bauxite, to Russia, the federal government stated on Sunday as a part of its ongoing sanctions in opposition to Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia depends on Australia for almost 20 p.c of its alumina wants,” the Australian authorities stated in a joint assertion from a number of ministries, together with the prime minister’s workplace. It added that the transfer will restrict Russia’s capability to provide aluminium, which is a vital export for Russia.

“The Authorities will work carefully with exporters and peak our bodies that will likely be affected by the ban to search out new and increase present markets,” the assertion stated.

Anglo-Australian mining big Rio Tinto owns an 80% stake in Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL) in a three way partnership with Russia’s Rusal Worldwide PJSC, the world’s second-largest aluminum producer.

Final week, Australia imposed sanctions on two Russian businessmen with hyperlinks to its mining trade, one in all them being billionaire Oleg Deripaska who holds stakes in QAL.

Australia has to date imposed a complete of 476 sanctions on 443 people, together with businessmen near Russian President Vladimir Putin, and 33 entities, together with most of Russia’s banking sector and all entities accountable for the nation’s sovereign debt, the assertion stated.

The federal government additionally stated it would donate no less than 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal to Ukraine to satisfy its power wants.

Australian coal producers have been bombarded with requires provide over the previous few weeks from Ukraine and different international locations like Poland which were reliant on Russian provides.

“The Australian Authorities has labored with the Australian coal trade to supply provides,” the assertion stated.

Whitehaven Coal has shortly organized a cargo, and the Authorities is now working with the corporate and the Ukrainian and Polish Governments to ship the provides on the earliest out there alternative, the assertion stated.

The federal government additionally pledged further navy gear and humanitarian assist for Ukraine.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Enhancing by Aurora Ellis)

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