Press Metal bid to access Australia’s Worsley project

by TMR

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd intends to purchase a 50% stake in Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd (JAA) for RM738.97 million to gain long term access to raw materials and reduce reliance on third party suppliers.

Press Metal’s 80%-owned unit, Press Metal Bintulu Sdn Bhd, aims to buy some 34.15 million shares in JAA from Itochu Minerals & Energy of Australia Pty Ltd and Itochu Corp.

If successful, the acquisition will allow the Press Metal group to access 5% of the total annual production from the Worsley Alumina Unincorporated Joint Venture in Australia as JAA holds a 10% interest in the project.

The upstream asset produces 230,000 metric tonnes of alumina per year and will help Press Metal secure long-term supply of alumina for its smelting business while bringing down costs as the Worsley Alumina project is among the lowest cost alumina producers globally.

Expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, the acquisition will be funded with external bank borrowings.