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Rio Tinto reviewing Rusal ties, mum on Queensland venture


By Nicole Mordant

(Reuters) - Plc is reviewing its dealings with Russian United Co to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions, a top said on Tuesday, but added it was too soon to discuss the future of its Australian venture with

"We are reviewing in detail all our trading relationships with and other counterparties and we will obviously do what we have to do to ensure that we comply with applicable sanctions," Alf Barrios, Aluminium's chief officer, said in an interview.

The imposed major sanctions on Friday against Russian entities and individuals, including Rusal, in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other shady activities.

Rusal owns 20 percent of Rio's Queensland Alumina Ltd, a refinery operation with annual capacity of 3.95 million tonnes of alumina. Rio owns the remaining 80 percent.

Barrios said Rio has received calls from customers wanting to ensure a secure supply of aluminum in the future. Rio would continue to work with them to support them, he said. Rusal produced about 7 percent of the world's aluminum in 2017.

Rio, a major supplier of aluminum to the from its smelters in Canada, will be among the biggest winners from U.S. sanctions on Hong Kong-listed Rusal as the penalties further shake up the global metals trade and boost costs for U.S. consumers, according to industry sources.

Aluminum prices rallied to a more than six-week high on Tuesday in their longest winning streak since December.

Separately, Rio said it has received certification under the (ASI), an international standard certifying that aluminum has been responsibly and sustainably produced.

"We believe that having this certification that proves that we do follow highly set standards internationally is going to be important for customers," Barrios said.

Other members of the ASI include and automakers and

(Reporting by in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, and Jeffrey Benkoe)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 10 2018. 23:03 IST