SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Russian aluminum major Rusal has filed a lawsuit against global mining company Rio Tinto, seeking to gain its share of alumina produced at the Queensland, Australia facility.
Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) is jointly owned by Rio Tinto and Rusal, with Rio owning 80% band the remaining 20% owned by Rusal. In April this year, Rio took sole control of the refinery, cutting Rusal’s access to the alumina output from the refinery. As per the joint venture agreement, the Russian firm owns 20% share of alumina produced at the facility.
The lawsuit challenges Australia’s response to Russian invasion of Ukraine, including sanctions imposed on firms linked to President Vladimir Putin. Incidentally, the country had banned export of alumina and aluminum ores to Russia in March this year. The Australian Federal Court filing noted that Rio Tinto had no circumstances whatsoever to take sole control and that the action is a clear breach of obligations.
The lawsuit urged the federal court to restore its rights at QAL and ensure that there would not be further sanctions breach in future.
Rusal said that the refinery takeover by Rio would impact the availability of bauxite products, which in turn could result in additional logistics costs for the company.